Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Melting Moments

It has been a long time.  It is Tuesday already and I have only just done my Sunday Stampers thing.  Slipping a bit I know.

This week the challenge involves Embossing Powders.  See the blog post HERE.

Heat embossing differs from just embossing when we are in the realm of crafting.  For those who don't know, embossing (single word) means that a piece of paper, metal or other such material has been pressed to produce a raised pattern. It also leaves an indentation on the reverse side.  Think about Braille.  It is a pattern of raised dots on paper which can be felt.  The main characteristic of embossing is that it is a pattern created 'in' the paper.

Now heat embossing gives an end result of raised texture again but this time the embossed image or pattern is added to the surface of the paper by applying a powder to a sticky 'ink'.  This leaves the back of the paper flat.  An example would be those posh wedding invites where it looks as if the ink is liquid gold.  The beauty of this type of embossing is you can use any of your rubber stamps for the design and any colour of embossing powder you can get your hands on.

And then there is the technique which involves a LOT of embossing powder and a rubber stamp which you use to press into the melted powder and leave a de-bossed image.  

Confused?  Don't be.  All becomes clear when you see my tag and heart which I shall be entering into the Sunday Stampers Challenge #259.

The Tag

The tag is about 5cm x 8cm and is made of wood.  I first applied about 4 layers of plain turquoise embossing powder.  I then heated it until it was melted again and sprinkled different colours of embossing powder on while the base layers were still hot.  This does 2 things, first it sticks the new grains on enough to prevent them from being blown away and secondly it gives that marble look to the piece.  Once I was happy with the result I inked up a rubber stamp with black Stazon and heated the tag again to the point where the entire surface was liquid. 

4 important points here:-
  • Make sure you don't burn the embossing powder with the constant reheating,
  • Make sure you don't touch it, it is molten plastic and gets very hot
  • ONLY use rubber stamps (I worry that the polymer ones may get damaged) 
  • Ink up the stamp to help with the release, use clear embossing ink

Can you see the impressed pattern?

Once the powder had fully melted I then plunged the inked stamp onto the tag and held it firmly in place until the embossing powder had set again.  Now you can wait for the thing to go completely cold or if you are impatient like me you can tease the stamp away sooner.  Of course if this process goes wrong then all you need to do is reheat the embossing powder.  You might need to add more powders to disguise the ink left behind but this sometimes adds to the pattern.

I then did a heart using the same technique as above.  This was also made from wood, in fact it was a Christmas decoration which I bought in the sales. It was originally red with a festive pattern on it. This process of covering things with embossing powder is great for any heat proof embellishment that is not quite the right colour as you can alter it to match your project.  I like to call it the Cinderella technique.  Dull to start with but pretty and glamorous once this fairy Godmother has worked her magic on it. 

Not a Wooden Heart Now.

This time instead of inking the stamp with a colour I just used a clear embossing ink to allow for a good release and then lightly rubbed over the raised bits with black ink to highlight the impressed image and stuck on some gems. 

So there we have it.  My take on embossing powders. 

If you visit me then please be kind enough to leave a comment, thank you.

Have a great time crafting, I know I will.

Kim xx

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Homage - To Edgar, Tim and the Raven.

A strange title I know but the darkness of this creation, coupled with the bird (is it a raven?) and the challenge I am entering all played their part.

Working with a set of Tim's stamps I decided I would try out some sewing and acetate together.  I had used acetate sewn to cards many years ago, with the acetate used more as a cover over some pressed flowers.  In this piece I stamped on the back and front of the acetate with various images and sewed them onto a triple folded piece of card which had some sentiments stamped onto.  I personally like the depth of colour and the slightly Gothic feel of this card.

I used some additional word pieces, some ribbon a dragonfly brad and a flower in purple hues to finish off the piece.  So there it is, Edgar Allan Poe, Tim Holtz and a Raven (still not sure what bird it is) all in one place - where else would you get them?

Hope you like it?

So the challenge is HERE. It is the Cards Galore Challenge 'A Homage to Tim Holtz'.

Happy crafting to all of you - if you visit me please be kind enough to leave a comment. Thanks.  


Is It Sunday Already?

My doesn't time fly when you are on leave from work.

I have had a great few days relaxing and it was when I saw the new challenge pop up from Hels that I realised it was Sunday.  This week she wants us to explore VINTAGE/OLD.  I thought about putting myself on there but I don't actually have any stamping on me so I didn't qualify.  Ink yes, but stamping no.

Anyhow, as I had a new piece of equipment arrive from the USA on Friday I thought it only fair that I tried it out.  I am not over keen on die cuts but there are the odd few that 'speak' to me.  Sadly not all of the ones I like can be found in my local craft shop or even on the internet from UK suppliers so I have to resort to shopping online in the USA.  I have to say it is easier nowadays but still a little challenging especially as you have to wait a little longer for your goodies to arrive.

So the item arrived and I rushed straight to my room for a play.  I was thrilled with the results.  It is sad how much pleasure you can get from a few holes in paper.  The die in question is one from Simon Says Stamp (click HERE to see it).  I now have lots of pieces of card with rows and rows of holes in and as a bonus lots of tiny card dots which will be kept in case they are needed. 

And so to the challenge.  HERE is the link to her blog.

I thought it would be interesting to show the ingredients of this make along with the end result.  A before and after if you like.  So here is the BEFORE, all naked, fresh and new.

The Bare Essentials

After much stamping, distressing, inking, embossing, tearing and arranging THIS is what I came up with, the AFTER shot.

What a Difference an Hour Makes.

You can see the holey card, some of which I gold embossed, the flowers are made from a Tim Holtz die, the key and keyhole are also die cuts heat embossed, the page remnant is just visible behind the key, and the base tag itself was stamped with the splodge stamp from Visible Image - found HERE.  The little tag on the key was scrunched, stained and stamped then attached to the key with a jump ring.

Hope you have a great week ahead.  Your comments are always welcome.

Much craftiness Kim xxx

Monday, 13 May 2013

You Know I Couldn't Resist

Start of a new week, weather was a bit random over the weekend but it did mean I had to spend a lot of my time inside.  And where better to be than in my craft room.

Tinkering with some new stamps that arrived on Friday - eBay I LOVE YOU.  Always seem to pick up bargains.

The stamps are of child-angels, Victorian style, and are they what you would call photo-real?  Not sure but they are very sweet.

As usual I added them to my stamp index (a sort of visual library of all my stamps telling me which numbered box they are in - will take some pictures of it to show you another time) and while I was adding these new stamps I was pondering what they could be used with.  The Victorian feel suggested lace to me and the old fashioned practice of colouring/tinting black and white images seemed to be a good idea to.

Having made up a batch of these prints I put them in my 'useful bits' box and thought no more about it UNTIL the lovely Hels at Ink on my Fingers published her Sunday Stampers challenge Simply Irresistable week #257.

So bright and early this morning I set about making something. When I read the challenge blog I spent that evening pondering, thinking of what I would like to do, how I would use the resist technique, what colours, what format etc. and the first thing that came to mind was using a lace stamp as the resist image on old book pages.  Now in the past the paper in the old books that I like to use has proved to be a little too absorbent and rough for resist so I experimented and was really pleased with the result.  Trick was not to burn the paper when heating the clear embossing powder.

And the rest is history.  The Angel Promises book was born.  My favourite format, with my favourite colours and my new angel stamps.

As it is Monday and I have a finished project to show you today, I thought I would also include this in the Handmade Monday blog challenge #116 linked HERE.  

 I enjoyed making it, hope that you enjoy looking at it?

Remember to leave a comment to say you visited me.  Thanks in advance to all who do.

Make merry with the crafting, I know I will.

Kim xxx

Thursday, 9 May 2013

......and now you can see my MOO

Yesterday you saw my Twinchie.  If that wasn't enough of a surprise for you then today I am going to show you my MOO.


Bet you didn't expect to see that did you?  The great thing about a MOO is the size of it. I came across a blog challenge (yep another one) called MOO MANIA - look HERE for all the MOOS you could ever want to see.

They are teeny-tiny bits of art measuring 2.8cm x 7cm.  (If you work in 'old money' that is just over 1" x nearly 3")

Just to prove the point here is a picture taken with the ruler as proof.

The theme this time is insects.  It was quite a test because not only did I have to find some insect stamps but then I had to make sure they were small enough to fit on the MOO.

Anyway, job done and I am quite pleased with the result.  Can't wait for the next challenge.

See you again soon I hope.

Kim xx

PS Comments are lovely, please be nice and tell me you've visited. x

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

I am Going to Show you my Twinchie!

OK, for those that don't know, a TWINCHIE is a 2 inch piece of art. I was about to enter into the world of Twinchie challenges only to find that the blogger had decided to call it a day due to other commitments.  Then I noticed some kind person had taken over.  Yipppeeeee.

As is customary the first challenges in these events usually start with an 'Anything Goes' task and this blog challenge has not let that tradition pass.  The blog is found HERE. Go have a little look and join in maybe.

So here is my Twinchie.  It is on Stampboard which very handily comes in 2" square pieces (other sizes are available). Stampboard  is a piece of thin MDF like material coated with an ultra fine chalk layer similar to plaster.  The surface can be stained with inks, chalks, water colour paints, it is great for stamping onto and it can be carved to expose the white underneath.  I cold glazed the tile with Diamond glaze which not only brightens the colours but also protects the surface.

Twinchie Challenge #1 Free For All

Now, it looks like I might be the first one on this challenge so here goes................

As always I look forward to your comments.

Be good, craft with your heart, and enjoy the ride.

Kim xx

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Sunshine = Paradise

Oh what a fab weekend weather wise.  And it was sunny for the Bank Holiday too.  What more could a girl want?

For Hels challenge this week the theme is Diamonds and Pearls. Click HERE  to look at all the entries. 

The background was the fun part.  I got paint almost everywhere.  And the glue went everywhere too so much fun was had indeed.

Tissue over card, painted to emphasize the creases

The first colour way (above) was a little too subtle for my liking and so if you look at the finished result you will see how much darker I made it in the end.

Finished Piece is approx A5 in size

I used a La Blanche stamp for the main image which I stamped onto a page from a book and some Tim Holtz flower die cuts layered up with some Prima flowers to decorate the corner. I used seed beads with a pearl finish as the flower centres.  I also added a swirl of painted grunge board, which broke into 2 pieces while painting but actually that was a blessing in disguise as I used the 2 pieces in different areas on the final piece.

And there we have it Diamonds and Pearls.

Hope the weather holds out for a little while as I am getting a liking for outdoor activities.  One thing is for sure is my washing line has been used more in the last few days than it was through the whole of 2012.

Take care, happy crafting

Kim xx

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Is There Life Outside?

OK, so I need to get outside but when I saw the challenge given by Lavinia Stamps I simply had to join in.

It is not difficult to use the lovely stamps but coming up with the colour pallet was a little hard for me.  As you know I am not keen on the pale, pastel shades this challenge called for.  But that is the whole point isn't it - CHALLENGE.   

My first attempt went way beyond pastel verging on the gaudy.  I am not saying it was bad, just not pastel enough.

So here is my offering.

Right, that is it now, I must get something else done other than crafting and blogging.

Tomorrow maybe?

Kim x

PS As always your comments are much appreciated.

Some Goodies Arrived in the Post.

Hi.  Just a quick dabble today as I need to get some 'real' work done.  

I have a couple of cutting machines in my craft room namely the  Robo Cutter and the Slice, along with the classic Big Shot Dies, punches and fancy scissors of course, but I have started a little collection of Memory Box dies.  There is a massive collection of designs and so several hours were spent making my mind up as to which ones I 'needed'.  Yes, of course as all good crafters know you need them ALL, but they don't come cheap and so my head simply had to rule my heart on this one.

I really like the sharp, professional cut you get with dies.  It makes the difference between homemade and handmade I think.  So here a a few samples of my newly acquired dies together with my favourite Kraft card and strong colour combination.  

Random ink background

I have let the dies play a major part in the overall design just so that I could get a feel for them.  Naturally I got my fingers inky creating the backgrounds - it wouldn't be the same without ink stains on my fingers let's be honest.  What is nice is that my stash of scraps has been reduced a little simply by trying out these dies and the bonus is I now have a collection of handy embellishments in assorted colours.

Glimmer Mist Background

I am entering these into the A Little Bit Crafty challenge - HERE - as the criteria is Kraft card.
And also the Our Creative Corner challenge - HERE - as the criteria for that one is Anything Goes.

Hope the day stays sunny, but if not I hope your crafting goes well.  

Kim xx

PS - Don't forget to leave a comment, I love hearing from my visitors.  Cheers;.