Well tonight we have a very special treat for you. One of our very own signature Designers, Lin Brown is here to give you a few ideas using her brand new stamp set that she created for us this birthday month! Tadaaa! (below) As you can see it has very useful stamps that make great background elements, resist options, or alternative stalks and such for flowers, plus some fabulous flower heads. This is going to be a very useful set in conjunction with her other stamps. You were lucky enought to get a sneak peek from Carol Quance herself just a couple of days back, so here's ideas from the boss herself !
As many of you are aware, Lin is also our very good friend, and the amazing, talented one with whom I used to teach our bi-annual ArtsyCrafts weekend retreats for 5 years! She is now retired (ha!) but teaches classes in the midlands, UK on a monthly basis, and occasionally she will go and teach or demo in craft shops in other parts of the country. Lin has an wonderful eye for pulling a project together. Her use of colour, texture, embellishments and layers is very considered, and always creates a stunning overall effect.I'll leave you with Lin ....enjoy!
"I have been using PaperArtsy stamps for many, many years and I was delighted when Leandra invited to join in the fun to celebrate their tenth anniversary. To add to the excitement, I have a brand new plate of stamps which compliment the existing three plates with additional flowers and much needed greenery. With new stamps to work with, I started to think about how I could use them in a birthday project. It occurred to me that it would be nice if I could include some of my all time favourite stamps and products from PaperArtsy as well as some of my favourite techniques. Choosing the stamps was really easy as I have a couple that are firm favourites but techniques......there were way too many to include!!!! This project out a lot more involved than I first thought but that's how it goes sometimes, I never know where I'm going to end up, so I'll apologise in advance for the mammoth post, you might want to grab a cup or glass of something nice to see you through"!!
I started with a paper mache book and a chipboard arch.
Using Matte Medium, I glued some book pages to the whole book, pasting some of the medium over the top of the pages to seal and protect the paper as I knew that the paper would probably disintegrate with all the layers of paint that I was about to apply.
Once the box was completely covered in paper, I left it to dry naturally. I like to do this for two reasons, first of all, I find that if I dry the matt medium with my heat gun, it does become a bit tacky and the other reason is that you don't want to encourage air bubbles to appear and this does seem to happen more with a heat gun!!
Now for Grunge Paste ....I love this stuff!!! It's smooth, it's creamy, it's lightweight, it's easy to apply and it dries fast. I couldn't ask for anything better. I used a palette knife to scrape some Grunge Paste through a few stencils on the front of my book, bearing in mind that the arch would also sit on the front of the book so I only needed designs around the edges.
While I had my Grunge Paste on the desk, I decided to prepare all the other items that needed Grunge Pasting. First up, a little experiment. I wondered if I could make embellishments out of Grunge Paste so I filled a little mould with the paste and set it aside to dry. I found that I needed to leave this over night to dry thoroughly as it stayed wet underneath for quite sometime. I'll return to these later.
Next up, the arch. I scraped some Grunge Paste onto the arch, then pressed my stencil into it instead of scraping the Grunge Paste through it. I like how it kind of sticks to the stencil and has that sucky feeling when you lift it off so it creates an uneven, peaked effect.
I scraped some more Grunge Paste on other areas of the arch and used Mini 61 (my fav mini script stamp) to add some more interest to the frame. Remember to lightly spritz the stamp with water first, this stops the stamp sticking to the Grunge Paste.
Now for paint. I really love rich, warm autumnal colours and as this project is all about my favourite things, I decided to use some of my favourite colours too. I started by painting the frame with Chocolate Pudding, making sure that the paint got into all the nooks and crannies. I hate it when you see those pesky white bits staring back at you!! When this was thoroughly dry, I dry brushed some Brown Shed over the top. The secret to dry brushing is to use very little paint and quite a stiff brush, if you keep those two things in mind and build up slowly, you will achieve some fabulous effects.
(By the way, those are not pesky white bits on my frame.....must be fluff!!)
I added a touch of Treasure Gold with a flat brush and this really highlighted the texture of the Grunge Paste.
Now back to the book box. I started by painting a layer of watered down Pumpkin Soup over the whole box. Even though this is a translucent colour, I knew that I would be adding more layers of paint and I wanted to make sure that the text would be visible. Once dry, I added a layer of watered down Brown Shed, applying this more to the outside edges. After drying, I dry brushed some Chocolate Pudding to the edges.
Here's a great tip for applying Treasure Gold to the stencilled Grunge Paste. Simply re-position the stencil before applying the Treasure Gold, that way the Treasure Gold only appears on top of the Grunge Paste and not down in the dippy areas.
Next, I cut some Tando Creative chipboard borders to fit both the outside and inside of my box.
I painted these in the same way as the frame. Chocolate Pudding, dry brushed Brown Shed and then Treasure Gold. A bit of bling to give it a lift and some ball chain to hide the join. In case you're wondering, Claudine Hellmuth's Matt Medium works a treat for sticking metal embellishments.
I did glue some black card behind the trim that went inside the box as I needed to use a stack of foam tape to stick it in place and that would not have been a pretty sight through the lovely border trim.
Moving on to the flowers. I'm in love with fabric at the moment and I wanted to revisit something that Leandra and I taught at our very first ArtsyCrafts event....stamping on cotton. A fine weave calico works great but at the moment, I really like Egyptian cotton, it's really smooth and is a great surface for stamping detailed images. This flower is from HP1009 and has to be my all time favourite PaperArtsy image, it is so versatile, I've use it on acetate, metal, fabric, wood grunge-paper and it stamps up beautifully on every surface.
I use Rangers Archival Ink for fabric stamping, it is oil based so it stays wet longer that most other ink pads but it still gives a sharp, crisp image. When stamping on fabric, make sure that your ink pad is well inked, stamp the image on the fabric but leave the stamp in place for a minute or so. The fabric will suck all the ink from the stamp, giving you a fabulous image. Most important of all, heat set this ink. If you don't heat set, the ink will smudge when you start painting.
I started with a layer of watered down Pumpkin Soup. Blended some watered down Brown Shed and added my final shading with watered down Blood Orange.
I realised that one sprig of flowers wouldn't fill my arch, so I added another one with the intention of filling in the gaps with some text when I had finished all the painting. Once you are happy with your flowers, heat set them. This is important as it was at this point that I sprayed the fabric with water to help me create a soft, blended background. After spritzing with water,, I used a wide brush to apply a layer of watered down Pumpkin Soup. While it was still wet I a added some watered down Brown Shed. I do find that rubbing the second colour in with my finger helps blend the paint evenly. I like to leave the fabric to dry naturally if I am not pushed for time. Sometimes I find that I get tide marks if I don't dry it evenly with a heat gun.
While I had some fabric and spare paint on my desk, I made this little fabric panel which will appear inside the box later. I used one of the images from my new plate ELB04.
I wanted to print a selection of flowers and leaves so that I could create a garden inside the box along with a few spare flowers to embellish the front cover. The first flowers (from ELB04) were printed on book pages which meant that I needed to use translucent paints in order to see the text. I sponged Pumpkin Soup over the whole stamp, edged it a little with some Brown Shed then went back over it with Pumpkin Soup to blend the colours together before printing on the book page.
I then glued the book page to some brown card so that I could trim the flower leaving a small brown border.
The next flowers and leaves were printed on brown card which meant that I needed an opaque paint so that it would show up well on the dark card. I began by sponging a layer of Haystack on the stamp, followed by a layer of Pumpkin Soup, edged with Brown Shed as per the previous image and blended with a little more Pumpkin Soup. When the paint was dry, I stamped some script on the flower.
I used a few stamps from one of my original sets of stamps ELB01.
The large bloom in this set has a matching die and you really need to know how to use them together.
There is a small notch on the die which is crucial to lining up the image correctly. Once you have die cut the shape, leave the card in the die, and mark the notch in the back of the die. The petal under the notch corresponds to the petal shown at 1 o'clock on the index sheet. NOTE: the side you mark with the pencil is the side you stamp on! This is why you don't want to remove the card from the die until AFTER you have marked the notch.
The notch matches the petal that is at 1o'clock on the index sheet. I recommend that you also mark the back of your stamp so that when it is on the acrylic block, you line up the arrow on the back of the stamp with the notch-mark on the card, and you are good to go every time you want to use this image. Once you have done it a couple of times its easy. This is the same system for PaperArtsy's Grunge Flower dies 1,2,3 as well.
This one was stamped on a book page and mounted on brown card to match my other flowers.
Remember the Grunge Paste in the mould? That has now become the centre piece for this flower. I painted it with Chocolate Pudding and added some Treasure Gold, which highlights the texture really well!
Are you still with me? I promise I'm on the last leg now!!! Here is my garden, assembled inside my box with a few extra buttons, pearls and flowers as embellishments.The flowers are stuck in the box on layers of foam pads so that I could achieve a different height for each flower.
The little square of fabric that I created earlier now has my favourite PaperArtsy phrase stamped on it. It comes from HP1204.
I placed a layer of wadding behind my stamped fabric before sticking it down with a sheet of humungo sticky tape. This is the same as red line double side sticky tape but in a larger sheet. This allowed me to stick everything in place in one go and at this point I was up for anything that was speedy!!!
The last element proved tricky. I wanted to use some of the Eclectica chipboard shapes which were designed to fit my stamps. I really like using them with some of the Lynne Perrella faces to make unusual flower embellishments (you can see the concept on the chipboard packaging below).
The 'face' image I use a lot is this lady is one of my favourites from LPC008.
Originally I used the stem from Eclectica shapes 06
but when I tried to open my book, it was too wide and the book wouldn't fully open so I swapped it for the stem from Eclectica shapes 01 instead!!
My last tip of the day is how to paint the faces. All the Fresco flesh colour paints are opaque, so it would be quite tricky to paint in a face without obliterating all the detail of the stamped image. The easy solution is to paint the chipboard with either Nougat or Vintage Lace first, and then stamp the image in black over the top with Archival Ink. That way you have a lovely skin tone and all details remain sharp and clear. Just make sure you use translucent colours to paint the rest of the image to create shading and depth.
Phew! Sorry this was such an epic post but I hope it inspires you to try one or two of the ideas that I've shown you.
I wonder what the next ten years in the life of PaperArtsy will bring us to play with?
Leandra says: Well, Mrs (as you would say) it's always nice to have you drop in and share your creativity. I love the layers you get in your fun flower garden, its' more like a secret garden really, tucked in that book!! Thank you for not only making amazing hand carved style stamps that are so cool but for all the laughs we've had figuring out weird and wonderful ideas together. Ranger Red Snot deffo was the most hilarious invention ever!!
Gillian says: Adore the depth built up on your layers using the opaques and translucents Lin, as always a beautifully created project. Loving the additions to your Eclectica collection (adds to list of must things *giggle*). x
So my lovely blog people! Leave a comment for Lin on this post and for 3 people we have a set for each of her 6 different Eclectica shape sets to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to go in the draw!