Monday, 30 November 2020

Happy Smiles and Twinkling Eyes...

Happy Monday friends...

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and as the brand new week starts, it's time for the new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and this week our theme is all about ALCOHOL INKS and if you'd like to play along, then all you need to do is get out those beautiful inks and start playing!

For my project, I chose to create an alcohol inked background on an Etcetera Tag but I wanted to use the card in a slightly different way this week, so inspired by a recent Tim Holtz Facebook Live, I created a patchwork effect by cutting the inked panel into pieces using the Tim Holtz Stacked Tile Hexagon die from Sizzix. And the alcohol ink fun doesn't stop there because I also used a selection to colour my gorgeous little baubles, something that by now, you might have noticed I absolutely LOVE in Tim's range ~ to be honest, I think maybe can find a use for them in so many different ways on a plethora of projects. But for this particular one, it's all about Christmas and I used them in a traditional way, a cluster of baubles, cascading around the feet of these two adorable little children, who are all dressed up ready for the big day, waiting for Santa to arrive!

So, let's get started and here's how I created my mini sized etcetera tag with an alcohol inked background and two little girls, with happy smiles and twinkling eyes.

To begin with I prepped my mini etcetera tag and for this I primed the surface of the tag using gesso. Once the medium is dry, I then started adding colour and texture and applied a layer of Speckled Egg Distress Paint over the gessoed surface. I then dried it before adding the next layer of paint, and for this I used a palette knife to scrape gesso over random areas of the painted surface, still allowing the majority of the blue paint to show through. Allow for this to dry, before then applying another layer to add the texture and for this I used, Distress Crackle Paste. Again, I used a palette knife to apply the paste over random areas of the tag and then once the cracks have appeared and the paste is set, I took my Walnut Stain Distress Crayon and applied it around the edge of the tag and over the crackle pasted areas. I then took a semi damp paint brush and blended the crayon into the cracks, wiping away any excess or areas where it became too dark, or the blue wasn't shining through.

To complete the tag, I painted the hole reinforcer piece with a combination of Walnut Stain and Antiqued Bronze paint and attached it over the hole at the top.

The tag is now ready and I moved onto having some fun with the alcohol inks.

For my inked panel I used Heavyweight Yupo card and inked it with a selection of colours:

Moss, Slate, Gilded Alloy, Aqua, Monsoon and Turquoise mixed with Alcohol Ink Blending Solution.

I applied the inks to my Yupo card, let them do their thing but in some areas I blended them and softened the overall look with a AI Applicator Tool. Once I was happy with the blend, I used the Stacked Hexagon Thinlits Die set to die cut a selection of various sized hexagons.

I then attached each hexagonal panel onto my painted tag with Matte Collage Medium, leaving some empty space top and bottom.

To add shading around each hexagon, I used Black Soot Distress Marker Pen ~ blending out any harsh lines with a damp paint brush.

Whilst you still have the alcohol inks on my desk, I started adding colour to the baubles and used the following inks for this:

Pink Sherbet, Pool, Gilded, Foundry and Citrus

Just as Tim has shown on his FB live, I place the baubles into lidded containers or little sealed bags, add the ink and then shake them around to give them a good coverage. I then apply a small amount of Mushroom alcohol ink to create more of a vintage feel.

Now to start building the scene and I began with my ledge, using the medium sized, deepest Bracket Etcetera Trim and the same length pinked trim, but this time using the one that is slightly less deep than the bracket.

I painted each with a coat of gesso and once dry, added some Crackle Paste over the surface.

Allow for the paste to do it's thing and for the crackles to appear before applying a touch of Walnut Stain Distress Crayon over the top to accentuate the crackles.

Attach the bracket trim directly onto the tag, placing it with the point facing down and then attach the pinked trim at a 90 degree angle to form the ledge.

Add some Hardware Heads, painted with Picket Fence Distress Paint to the Bracket Trim and directly beneath the trim, I added a strip of Design Tape from the Christmas Trim tape set and stuck this across the bottom of my tag.

I then set this to one side to dry and set and whilst this is happening, I coloured my adorable Christmas Paper Dolls. I used these cute twosome and coloured them using a paintbrush, and Distress Crayons. In each hand the little girls are holding wands and I wanted to add a touch of sparkle, so I used some die cut stars that I cut from gold kraft card using the Falling Stars Thinlits die set, (you will also need a few more to add to the background) and then I attached two of the tiny stars to the wands, applied a smidge of collage medium and sprinkled some Vintage Platinum Glitter over the top.

After attaching my little girls to the tag, using foam pads for support and dimension, I then added some Grit Paste around the base of their feet, applying this directly to the ledge before arranging my coloured baubles. Each bauble is fixed into place using Matte Collage Medium and adding them one at a time.

You will need the baubles to be set into place before going anywhere near the project but once the medium is dry, I added a touch of frosty sparkle by smearing some collage medium onto the ledge, and baubles and then sprinkling some mica flakes over the top.

We're nearly there and all that's left is to add the remaining die cut gold stars that cascade across the top section of the tag and then add the little plaque to the top right hand corner.

I took the 'Compliments of the Season" from the Snippets Ephemera set and matted it onto gold card. I then attached this to my tag using foam pads for added dimension. I surrounded the plaque with some die cut foliage that I cut from card inked with Rustic Wilderness and Peeled Paint using the Holiday Greens Die Set.

To add some frostiness to the foliage, I rubbed a smidge of collage medium over the foliage and dipped each piece into Rock Candy Distress Glitter before attaching the foliage to my tag. I finished with a couple more die cut stars, that I glittered in the same way as I glittered the wands.

Finally, I coloured some crinkle ribbon with the gorgeous new Rustic Wilderness Oxide Spray, and Speckled Egg and Antique Linen Distress Stain and attached this through the hole in my tag.

...and that completes my project for this week and shows you a couple of ways of how you can use Alcohol Ink. As always, if you're inspired by anything that I create, then please don't hesitate to contact me through any of my social media or here on the blog, and I will pop by to take a look.

Don't forget that 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:

Distress Paint: Picket Fence, Speckled Egg, Walnut Stain, Antiqued Bronze
Distress Crayon: Walnut Stain
Distress Crayons for colouring paper dolls

Monday, 23 November 2020

Santa's Wish...

Hello friends and Happy Monday!

Hope you all had a good weekend and as we head into a new week, the Simon Says Stamp Monday DT are ready for you to join us for a brand new challenge, which this week is all about FOOD & DRINK!

At this time of year, if you're like me then there's always something food & drink related going on and even though the holidays will be slightly different for all of us this year, I still want to make this Christmas, one to remember because I have so many fond memories of Christmas' past and some very special times that I have spent with my family.

...and that's where my inspiration for this project came from ~ family and in particular my Mum and Nan. Even though Nan isn't with us any more, I will always remember how special she made Christmas. From the feast that she used to prepare to the family get togethers, it was always a wonderful time to remember and after my Nan passed, my Mum carried on the tradition, making Christmas the most wonderful time of the year! But what I remember most about both of them ~ is the time spent in the kitchen cooking, and that old handwritten recipe book that's been handed down through the generations, with new additions and some old traditional recipes ~ it's a book to be treasured but also one that needs to be preserved before it becomes to worn. So, now it's time for me to take over and this was the ideal time to place that old book safely in my memory box and make a new book ready to fill with some Christmas recipes and here it is...so, let's get started!



To begin with I found a really cheap notebook from my local £1 shop. It's a lined notebook and has a hard front and back cover, which I painted with a coat of gesso on the back and front, inside, and out. Once the gesso was dry, I then painted the covers with a layer of gold paint, let it dry thoroughly before dry brushing a layer of Picket Fence Distress Paint over the top. I've explained dry brushing may times before and all this is, is taking a dry paint brush, dipped into paint before removing the majority of the paint from the brush and just dry brushing it over the surface of your substrate, allowing the minimum of paint to be applied. It's that easy but creates a beautiful vintage look to a project.

Before I started the covers of the book, I did decorate the inside...

...and for this, I used some decorative paper that I took from one of Tim's Christmas paper stashes, (I think this was actually from last years), cut the paper to measure slightly smaller than the cover and adhered it with Matte Collage Medium. I then attached a Salvaged tag to the inside cover, together with some Christmas Ephemera pieces, all from the idea-ology brand.

On the right hand side of the book, I cut a panel of Mixed Media Heavystock card, again slightly smaller than the actual page size and inked with Old Paper and Antique Linen Distress Sprays. I then applied some of the Christmas Trim Tape to the top and bottom before machine stitching a border around the outside.

Now because this book is all about home comforts, I found the perfect stamp to create the title ~ 'HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS'. This stamp is from the Stampers Anonymous Bold Tidings stamp set by Tim Holtz and I stamped it using the Stamp Platform in a combination of Barn Door and Black Soot Archival Ink. 

I adhered the page into my book with matte collage medium and once again, added some more ephemera pieces, including the little December calendar, circling the big day in red pen.

Right now to create the covers and I started by cutting two panels of Cracked Leather Cardstock, both the same size and coloured these with a combination of Speckled Egg, Iced Spruce, and Pumice Stone Distress Inks. I used the wrinkle free Distress technique and just built up the intensity of colour from applying the inks to my glass mat.

On one panel only, I added some stamped layers using the script and music stamps from the Vintage Holiday stamp set and just stamping randomly over the background. This will become the front panel of my book.

After machine stitching a border around the outside of each panel, I adhered them to my book covers, back and front.

I wanted to make the book look as if it was slightly worn and tattered and to create that look, I used some cream coloured Vintage Foil Transfer Sheets from Ranger Ink. I have these in my stash but if you can't get hold of them, then any neutral shade of foil transfer sheets will be ok and give you the same effect. To apply the foil, I used a glue stick which I applied to the edges of the book and then pressing the matte side down, I applied the foil to the sticky areas.

To add some texture to the covers, I used the Stunning Snowflake die ~ I had these die cuts already cut from a previous project but never used them and as they sat on my desk, I just thought they would be the perfect texture for this piece. So after painting each of the snowflakes with a little Speckled Egg Distress Paint, I adhered them to my front cover with some Matte Collage Medium. Once the medium was dry, I splattered the cover with a little Picket Fence Distress Paint.

Now for Santa to make his appearance! 

Santa's Wish Colorize Die is one of my favourite dies from Tim's Sizzix releases, I just fell in love with him the minute I saw him and after die cutting each of the layers from watercolour card, and hand colouring each piece with Distress Inks and Polychromos Pencils creating the tones and shading that I wanted ~ I then assembled Santa. If you want to see how to layer Santa, and it really is so easy ~ then just click HERE as this YouTube video shows you how to do it!

To complete Santa, I added some Rock Candy Dry Glitter touches to the holly and berries and onto his hat.

Santa is now ready to put into place and I attached him with foam pads, placing him on the centre of a Vignette Frame, painted with Speckled Egg Distress Paint and mounted onto a panel of Worn Wallpaper, which creates a border around the edge of the wooden frame.

To add a touch of shimmer to the frame, I added some more of the Vintage Foil Transfer sheets, this time using the gold foil but applying it in exactly the same way as I applied it to the edges of the book cover. I also added some die cut gold stars around the outside of the frame.

To create the lettering, I used the Sizzix Alphanumeric Shadown Upper Thinlits die set and cut each letter three times from Mixed Media Heavystock card before layering them over the top of one another to create the thickness of a chipboard letter. I then painted them with a little Candied Apple distress Paint, allowed them to dry before using the Embossing Dabber, applied over the top of each letter and then sprinkling them with Tim's amazing Embossing Glaze in Fired Brick and combining it with a little sprinkle of Emerald Creek Rocky Road Baked Texture Embossing Powder by Seth Apter.

I attached my letters to the cover, placing them beneath the frame and adhering them with Matte Collage Medium before adding a Ruler Piece directly underneath. 

To add more of vintage feel to the ruler, I inked it with Frayed Burlap Distress Spray Stain, dabbed away any excess colour and once dry, sanded the edges back before adding some red cotton around each end.

As the final detail, I added a Type Chip that I wrapped around the edge of the book and then placed a Tiny Clip onto it.

We're nearly there and all that's left is the finishing touches...

...including some green Christmas Velvet Trims tied down the spiral binding on the side of the book.

I also attached a Christmas Token onto a Mini Pin and pinned this to the ribbon.

Inside the book, I added some tabs, the salvaged tag as mentioned before, a strip of fabric tape and a Christmas Milk Cap, (love that this set has this milk cap included, it's such a cool touch and a little nod to someone we all know and love, Mr Mario Rossi).

I also added a sticker from the Sticker Book that I placed along the top edge of the book.

So that's my project for this week finished and complete and I hope you've enjoyed the creative process and the inspiration that was behind this piece ~ it was definitely a project from the heart and something that will be treasured for many years to come!

All I need to do now, is fill it with some of Nana's recipes....which includes her amazing Christmas Cake and her relishes and chutney.

Don't forget that 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:

Stampers Anonymous: Bold Tidings 3Vintage Holidays
Distress Paint: Black SootCandied ApplePicket Fence, Speckled Egg
Distress Spray: Frayed Burlap
Distress InkSpeckled Egg, Pumice Stone and Iced Spruce
Embossing Glaze: Fired Brick

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