Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Little Bird

Hello everyone, It's Wednesday, and that means another weekly post over on the Chocolate Baroque Challenge Blog. It is my turn to provide a little bit of inspiration using this month's challenge colours, and I have chosen to use one of the Spring Bird collection of stamp plates as a starting point. I chose the Spring Bird Crocus stamp plate, as I really like this particular bird image, and have used it several times in the past for projects.

I started my card by creating a Brusho background, using smooth watercolour paper, and sprinkling some powders onto the dry background. I chose a selection of ochres, oranges and lime green, which all fitted within the colour palette. I spritzed the background with a mini mister to create a watery background, and then blotted the background with a spare piece of watercolour card. This will be great for another project later on. I heat set the background using a heat gun.

I stamped the rosehip image from the Autumn Poppy stamp set randomly over the background using Potting Shed Archival Ink, and coloured the images using pencils.

I cut a circle from a spare piece of watercolour paper and stamped the bird image. I had laid my watercolour background onto a craft mat, and there had been some Brushos and water left behind, leaving droplets of colour. I used this to add some colour around the stamped bird image, just turning the circle of card, and gently dabbing it into the droplets, drying it between each application, until I was happy that I had enough colour. I then also used the leftover droplets to paint the bird image, using a small brush and some water. I used a little bit of extra brown Brusho for the actual bird. I used a bit of pencil shading on the leaves, to tie in with the background colouring. I added some shading around both layers using Wild Honey Distress Ink.

Finally, I cut some green card for matting and layering the bird image and my leafy background.

I have not added a sentiment to this card yet, but it would be suitable for lots of occasions, so I will wait until I am ready to use the card, before I decide what to add. Don't forget to hop over to the Challenge Blog, to see a super tutorial by one of my team mates this week. There is also a bumper post today on the Design Team Blog, featuring some of the readers' own projects, so a great reason to pop over there as well.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Pan Pastel favourites

Hello everyone, I am revisiting a couple of my favourite stamp sets today; Butterfly Dreams and Loving Sentiments.  I have chosen to use a couple of the smaller stamps to create backgrounds, using Pan Pastels to colour my card first, and then stamp the images over the top. This always seems to give a lovely crisp impression.

For my first card, I have used some linen textured card, and shades of green and purple to colour the background, before stamping the leaf image using Versafine Olympia Green and Archival Pum Ink over the top. I coloured a smaller piece of card in the same way, and stamped a sentiment using Olympia Green as before. I added burgundy card as a matting layer for the linen card.

I chose a piece of smooth card to colour with the purple shades of Pan Pastel, and then stamped a butterfly from the stamp set over the top, using Versafine Onyx Black Ink. I cut the image out, and added some flower stamens to replace the antennae.

For my second card, I coloured a piece of smooth card with turquoise Pan Pastel, and then stamped another leafy image over the top with Versafine Deep Lagoon Ink. Using Versamark Ink, I stamped the large flourish, and added a dark blue Pan Pastel to the image.

I coloured another smaller piece of card with the turquoise Pan Pastel as before, and stamped a sentiment. I added a few flat-backed gems to finish.
Don't forget to keep visiting the Design Team blog, where my team mates are revisiting their favourite stamps all month. Thanks for stopping by,  xx

Friday, 15 April 2016

Fifteen Minutes or Less

Hello everyone, we are launching a new bi-monthly blog post over on the Design Team Blog, starting today, and the theme will be cards created in fifteen minutes or less. We always try to provide inspiration on the Design Team Blog, using the stamps in imaginitive and innovative ways, and try to create a balance of styles and projects for all abilities. We do feel that sometimes the beginner stampers, or those looking for quick card ideas can get overlooked. The cards may be clean and simple in style, or simply quick to make. Hopefully, they will stretch the use of stamps that are already in your stash, giving you lots of new ideas as we work our way through some of our own stamps, and revisit some of our favourites. You will see samples created by both the Design Team and the Guest Design Team, who are joining us along the way.

I have made a quick card for the first blog post using a really pretty tree stamp from the Essence of Nature stamp set. I have not used this stamp enough, as it is such a lovely image. I created a mask using cheap copy paper, die cutting an oval shape from the centre. I sprayed some lime green Dylusion spray through the mask onto some card, and then carefully removed the mask. I dried the spritzed area with a heat gun, and stamped the tree image with Versafine Onyx Black Ink. I also stamped the image again onto spare card, as I wanted a few extra butterflies.

I spritzed some orange, yellow and pink Dylusion spray onto my craft mat, just a little bit, and using a brush, painted the butterflies with the spray. I cut out a few of the larger ones from the secon image, and stuck them to the original for dimension. I added a sentiment from the Birthday Words stamp set, and matted the background onto a black card blank.

Look out for lots of inspiration on the Design Team blog, it is a jam-packed issue, full of beautiful artwork from my Team Mates. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Spring Greens

Hello everyone, we are taking a bit of a retrospective look at our favourite stamps over on the Design Team Blog at the moment.  I have been a fan of Sue Page's images for many years, pretty much since I started stamping in the 1990's. So, I have a lot of Chocolate Baroque favourite stamps in my stash, as you can well imagine!I am sharing a card using just a few of my favourites with you today. For my card, I have chosen a lovely tree stamp from the Fantasy Woodland stamp set. I love the versatilty of this stamp set, so many different stamps, offering many possibilities.

To create my card, I stuck an old book page onto some thin card, and then stamped the tree image onto the card. I coloured the image with Inktense pencils and a water brush. I also tore some jagged strips of book page, and coloured them with various colours of green Distress Ink, darker at the top of each strip, and paler at the bottom.

I added a circle mask to a white card blank, and coloured the top portion of the card pale blue, using Distress Ink. I then removed the circle mask, and added a bit of yellow ink to the circle. I stuck the book page strips to the lower end of the card, and trimmed off the rough edges.

I stamped the tree image directly onto the card, using Versafine Onyx Black Ink, and added a bit of shading under the image using a dark green pencil. I decoupaged the image that I had stamped onto book paper over the background image. I stamped three birds from the Landscape Edges clear stamp set over the sun, and added a sentiment from the Mackintosh Sentiments clear stamp set.

This was a simple, card to make, and could be used for lots of different occasions. I feel that it has a rather Spring-like feel and have named my blog post 'Spring Greens', a bit of a pun there, sorry!

There is a competition running at the moment at Chocolate Baroque, as the Company is celebrating its fifth Birthday this month. We would like you to create a project using the theme of 'Spring', and email a picture to you can find all the details here. There are some great prizes, and a chance to grab a guest spot on the Design Team! So get your thinking caps on and have a go, as it would be lovely to see what you create.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Teal and Purple

Hello everyone, I have lots to share with you today, and am wearing both my Design Team hat and my Challenge Blog hat. Wednesdays can sometimes be a busy day at Chocolate Baroque!

Firstly, I have a collaberative project to share with you, created by myself and Lesley. We live a long way apart from each other, and rarely get the chance to craft together. We thought that we would make a joint project with the aid of Royal Mail on this occasion. So, Lesley sent me a selection of scrumptious backgrounds that she had created, and I made a card with a couple of them. It has been a pleasure working with the jewel tones that Lesley chooses, they are brighter than my go to colours, but a lot of fun.

I chose a pretty purple/teal background from Lesley's selection as my inspiration; these are my favourite colours. I chose a floral stencil, and added some gesso to the background through the stencil first of all, before lightly dabbing some blue and teal Dylusions paint over the top. It is no secret that Lesley loves blue flowers, so I had to add some into my design!

I stamped the Swirl Centre Flowerhead stamp onto another piece of Lesley's background, and also a leafy stamp from the Sketchy Doodle Flower stamp set. I added some watered down teal paint to these images, to tone them in with the background. I cut the images out and stuck them to the background. I added a sentiment from the Birthday Words stamp set. Finally, I matted the background onto some teal card.

I had a lot of fun making this project 'with' Lesley, and hope that it is not too long before we get a chance to craft together face to face.

Now onto the Challenge Blog! It is time for another weekly post over on the blog today, and I have written a tutorial for my card over on the blog. It is a simple CAS card in this month's challenge colours. I have used a stencil to create the background, and then stamped some butterflies across the card, before lightly colouring them with the same inks.

Please hop over to the blog to see the rest of this week's Design Team inspiration. Why not enter the challenge yourself, you could win a £15 prize.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Monday, 28 March 2016

Babushka Gifts

Hello everyone, it's my final post of this month using the Babushka stamp set, and I have so much fun using these cute stamps. I have a couple of gift ideas to share with you today.

My first project is based on a tag card that I made a while back, but I wanted to create a card and gift in one. I cut a couple of tag shapes from kraft card, making one of them a bit longer, and created a gusset to join to the other tag. I scored  along the middle of the area, and also allowed a small area at the end to join to the back tag.

I coloured a smaller piece of watercolour paper, using Squeezed Lemonade Distress Ink, and stamped a small flower from the Spring Bird Daffodil stamp set randomly over the background. I coloured the flowers with Polychromos pencils. I cut the watercolour paper into a tag shape, slightly smaller than the tag card, and cut a circular hole out of the background. I then cut a slightly smaller hole from the kraft tag, to create a border inside the circle on the watercolour paper.

I stamped two of the Babushka dolls onto a spare piece of watercolour paper, and coloured these with pencils, before cutting them out and attaching them to the flowery background. I added a sentiment, and then stuck the back and front tags together at the top with strong double-sided tape. As I did so, I sandwiched the top of the bag of chocolate eggs between the tape.
Here is a side view:
My second gift is a bit of fun; I make these little bracelets all of the time, using coloured shell and jump rings. I stamped some of the medium sized Babushka dolls onto shrink plastic using Stazon Jet Black Ink, and then coloured the reverse of the images using Copic markers. I cut them out and punched holes in the top of each one, before shrinking them with a heat gun. I flattened them while they were still hot with an acrylic stamp block, and then I simply attached them to the bracelet with a jump ring.

I hope that you have enjoyed my projects this month using these lovely little stamps, and that they have provided you with a bit of inspiration. Thanks for stopping by,  xx

Saturday, 19 March 2016

From Russia with Love

Hello everyone, I have more projects to share using the lovely Babushka stamp set. I love to mix and match new stamps with older stamp sets, and I have tried to do that with these projects.

I wanted to create the feel of brightly painted wooden dolls on these cards, so on my first card, I used kraft card throughout, and used a simple colour palette of bright colours. I used a Big Bold background Belle Flowers, to create the background, stamping the image using gold embossing powder. The big stamps are great for creating a background quickly. I coloured the images using Graph'it markers.

I cut an oval shape, and stamped a sentiment from the Loving Sentiments stamp set, using black ink. Finally, I used some black card to mat the layers.
My second project shows that these stamps can be used all year round, as I have chosen to make a Christmas card using the stamps, and combined them with some trees and snowflakes from the Sparkling Trees stamp set.

I started the card by stamping the three dolls, masking them as I went along, and then stamped the two building fragments. I masked these before masking the trees. I cut a single mask of the trees, but you could mask them all if you wanted too, I just moved the mask along as I needed to.

I stamped and embossed some small snowflakes using white embossing powder, and then coloured the sky area using Distress ink and a blending tool. I added a small amount of lilac to the foreground to add a bit of shading to the snow. I removed the masks, and coloured in the images using Copic markers. I added a bit of grass poking up through the snow. I added a sentiment using red ink, and chose a co-ordinating red layer of card to mat the background onto.

I have added lots of glitter to the trees, snow and rooftops for a bit of Christmas sparkle.
Thanks for stopping by, xx

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Colourful Babushkas

Hello everyone, I have a couple more cards to share using this month's Babushka stamp set. I absoloutely love the versatility of this quirky stamp set, and the many possibilities that the stamps offer.

For my first card, I created a wrinkle free Distress background, using Salty Ocean Distress Ink on smooth watercolour paper.  I stamped the three dolls onto some white card using white embossing powder and I also stamped the face areas again onto some spare card using black ink. I coloured the images using Distress Markers and a water brush. I cut the dolls out, and decoupaged the faces onto the white embossed dolls.

I die cut some hexagons, and stamped the flower head from the Breath of Spring stamp set on to the hexagons, again using white embossing powder. I coloured the hexagons using various tones of blue Distress Ink, to match the Babushka dolls.  I ironed off the white embossing from the hexagons using copy paper. I drew faux stitching to the edges of the shapes using a fine-tipped marker. I also added faux stitching around the edge of the background. Finally, I added a sentiment from the Amazing Birthday clear stamp set.

My second card became a Mother's Day card for my Mum. She loves Russian dolls, and always wanted to collect them. When we were growing up, I always remember her hankering after them, but never being able to afford them. So, I thought that it would be lovely to incorporate some of the images into a card for her.

I stamped a window fragment from the Texture Fragments stamp set onto my background, and added gold embossing powder. Before using the heat gun, I stamped the large fragment from the Dusky Damask stamp set using Elderberry Memento Ink into two of the corners of the background, and added clear embossing powder. I then heat set the images.

I covered the background with a blend of pink and purple Distress Inks, before adding a stencil, and repeated the process, to deepen the colours. I stamped the Babushka images onto a spare piece of card, using gold embossing powder, and coloured them using the corresponding colours in Distress Markers, picking the colours up using a water brush. Finally, I added a sentiment from the For Mum clear stamp set.

I will be back later in the month with some more ideas using these lovely stamps,  Thanks for stopping by, xx

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Fabulous New Stamps to Show You!

Hello everyone, there are new stamps launching today over at Chocolate Baroque. Babushka is a super A5 plate of Russian dolls in three sizes, with a couple of little rooftop fragments to help you build a scene. These stamps are really lovely, and evoke lots of childhood memories for me. My Mum loves Russian dolls, and always wanted to collect them, but could never really afford them. I always remember being fascinated by opening the dolls, only to find yet more dolls inside. It was like magic.

I have created a card with one of the doll sets, and combined it with some apples from the Mellow Fruitfulness stamp set. I coloured a small panel of card with Shabby Shutters Distress Ink, and stamped the image randomly across the panel, before colouring it with watercolour pencils. I added some lovely navy gingham ribbon above and below the panel.

I stamped the three dolls onto a separate piece of card, and coloured them with pencils as before, and then cut them out ant attached them to the card. I added a sentiment from the Card Sentiments clear stamp set to finish.

The Design Team have been making some beautiful samples using these stamps, so be sure to visit the Design Team blog across the month to see lots of inspiration. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

WOYWW it's been a looooong time!

Hello everyone, I thought that I would give you an update on my newest crocheting project, and as it is Wednesday, I would link to Julia Dunnit's 'What's on your workdesk Wednesday' blog post. I used to visit and blog for this post fairly regularly, but as we all know, life gets in the way, and I have not had a chance to pop in for ages.

My craft desk is messy, as per usual, and don't even mention the rest of the room! I am recovering from an op at the moment, it is a long haul, and I just cannot lift some of the heavier boxes to have a proper tidy up. It is my intention this year to declutter the room, and get rid of things that have not been used for more than a year or two. I have this feeling that it would be unfair to leave a mess for the family to sort out after I have gone, lol! I have no intention of shuffling off just yet, but I would like to be able to get to the four corners of the room, so a good tidy up would be a sensible thing to do.

I generally work on our large dining table in our very light and airy extension. This room is perfect for crafting, as the space is much less cluttered than my craft room, and I have lovely views of the garden to inspire me as I work. At the moment, I cannot show you much of what is lurking on that table, as there are DT projects as yet to be revealed.

My current 'desk' is the sofa, where I have been crocheting most evenings, accompanied by one or the other of my two cats.

Having finished my Lily Pond blanket recently, I have moved onto a larger sunny log cabin blanket, designed by Lucy from attic24. The rainbow colours are really beautiful, and very cheery on these colder, often gloomy days. I am looking forward to putting the blanket together, as it has a very clever design of hot and cold colour sections, that create larger diamonds once the squares are all attached together. So far, I have only completed three larger squares around the smaller granny squares, but you may start to see the larger pattern starting to form:

I have crocheted all sixteen of the smaller granny squares in readiness to finish the big squares, and am sewing my ends in as I complete each square. There is an element of darning required due to the nature of the pattern design, otherwise the ends could be crocheted in as you go along.

I hope that you have enjoyed your visit to my makeshift desk today, and I will try to pop along to see as many of you as possible. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Monday, 29 February 2016

Vintage Paper projects

Hello everyone, I have been playing with a great mixed media pack available from Chocolate Baroque called the Vintage Style Play Pack. It is jam-packed full of bits and pieces, and will give you plenty of supplies to create lots of projects, combined with some of your existing stash. There are vintage book papers, pieces of grey board, mini envelopes, ribbons, buttons, and other embellishmebts to complete lots of cards and mixed media projects.

I have three projects to show you today, but hope to make several more projects using this great pack in the coming weeks.

For my first project, I took a piece of the book paper, and trimmed it to size, and then stamped and embossed a large flourish from the Nature Swirls stamp set over the background. I used vanilla white embossing powder, which is a lovely off white colour. I added some Fossilized Amber Distress Ink to the background, cleaning over the white embossing with  piece of kitchen paper afterwards. I die cut a flower in three different sizes from both book paper, and a piece of crinoline, and coloured the die cuts with the same colour Distress Ink. I simply patted the ink pad onto a craft mat and spritzed the ink with water, before swiping the flowers through the ink. I dried the flowers with a heat gun, scrunching them up, as they dried, to get them to stay crinkly. I attached them together using a brad, and then stuck one of the buttons from the pack on the top.

To finish the card, I chose a kraft card blank, and added a couple of toning layers of card to mat the book paper onto. I added some ribbon and a strip of hessian from the paper pack across the background, and then die cut some leaves from some extra kraft card, before finally attaching the flower.

For my second project, I decided to use some of the small greyboard panels, and attach them to a long skinny canvas. I stuck some of the book paper to the panels, using matte medium, and left them to dry. I painted the canvas and the panels with a range of acrylic paints in blue, green and yellow tones, using a baby wipe to blend the colours together. I created several layers of colour, drying each layer with a heat gun, and once I was happy with the blend, I added a touch of deep blue and purple around the edges.

I stamped a script stamp onto tissue paper and adhered this using matte medium. I stuck the panels onto the canvas, and then added some stencilling to the background using some coloured texture paste. I wanted to add a bit of interest to the greyboard panels, and so I embossed a cog texture stamp randomly onto them using Versamark, and some copper embossing powder. I also added a butterfly image from The Rose Tree stamp set, which I coloured with pencils.

To finish, I added touches of gilding wax, and a cog kindly donated by my hubby.

My final project was a happy accident, as I had some paint left on my craft mat after the canvas project. I hate to waste paint, and so I added it to another piece of book paper, and created a washed background. I cut a small piece of the hessian strip, and used it as a stencil, with some white acrylic paint randomly over the background.

There was an ATC sized  piece of Stampbord in the play pack, and I chose a pretty floral stamp from the Harebell Butterfly stamp set to stamp and colour on this piece. I used some ultra thick embossing powder to triple glaze the Stampbord, and created a tile effect over the image.

I cut two large rectangles from kraft card, and created a tag top to them, by chopping off the corners. I scored partway down one of the 'tags', and stuck it to the other one, so that the card would stand up, without collapsing. It has its own stand in effect. I added the book paper background, and some pretty tan ribbon from the play pack, before attaching the Stampbord tile to complete the card.

I hope that I have offered you some inspiration as far as this super pack is concerned. I promise to be back with more ideas in the future, thanks for stopping by, xx

Friday, 26 February 2016

Postcard Collage

Hello everyone, I'm back again with another project created using Floribunda Net, one of this month's featured stamps from Chocolate Baroque.

I decided to create a piece of collage in the style of an old postcard as the focal point for my card, and so I cut a piece of scrapbook paper to the correct size, and gathered a selection of stamps that I could use to create my postcard. I chose a couple of butterflies, and two stamps from a great little mini set found within this collection.

I stamped the butterflies first, and covered them with a mask, before adding the large flower stamp. I then added the little postage mark, and the postcard sentiment last. I coloured the images with Polychromos pencils, and edged the piece with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink.

I created a little tag from a piece of scrap card to fit a small paper wallet, and then coloured the tag with Wild Honey Distress Ink. I stamped a fitting sentiment, taken from the Amazing Birthday stamp set onto the tag and added some stamps from the Mail Art mini stamp set as before, to complete the tag, along with some dark brown ribbon.

I created a background for the card using a piece of smooth watercolour paper, and added first Wild Honey, then Peeled Paint Distress Ink, using the wrinkle free distress technique. I edged the background with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink, before matting it onto dark brown card.
There are still a few more days of inspiration using these lovely large stamps over on the Design Team blog, so be sure to check out what my team mates have been making. Thanks for stopping by, xx

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