Tuesday 22 January 2008

"Home" theme Postcards

Today Isa and I were emailing about ways to use Golden Glazes, and the inevitable happened and I ended up using them on some stuff.....as you do.

When I first started learning about Altered Books, there was a small series of book/ magazines published by Design Originals (actually it turned into a series) called AB101, 102, 103 and so on. The first 2 were pioneered by Beth Cote, and then they turned into a free for all with all kinds of contributors. She also did a DVD, and that's where I first saw the glazes being used.

Its very simple process: squeeze and spread. Glazes can be used over or under collage elements, and I have even used them to transfer ink-jet images into the 'paint'. On the left I used cut 'n' dry foam to apply the glaze (Yellow Ochre, Sea Foam Green) to watercolour paper. After each layer, dry well, and you can gradually build depth of colour along the way. Glazes blend really well, and they have a long 'open' time. [That means they take a while to dry]. These dry with a matte finish which is great because you can easily work on top of glaze to stamp, journal, collage etc as its not a plastic shiny finish.

Permanet dye inks work well over glazes for bold sharp images, but today I successfully used distress ink (antique linen, Frayed Burlap) up against a zig-zag mask at the top of this piece. I then over-stamped a flourish image (SM08) with distress. I did find the distress colour would get darker as I dried it with a heat gun.

To finish, I stamped an arch (Urban Snapshots - Arched Apertures 2) in Jet Black Archival ink on the toothy side of ink-jet transparency film..this is much easier than stamping onto slippery acetate. I then used Patina Green Glaze on the reverse shiny side of the acetate to create a little bit of contrast between the background. The doors are cut open and bent back, and a collage sheet image (tinted with distress inks) is placed behind for a focal point.

On the right the glaze background is much more Blue, however again I used Sea Foam Green, and Patina Green (which is more like a green/blue ...the BEST shade of the collection). This time 3 -4 layers gave a much stronger colour., But I did try to keep a couple of sections more green than others...it seems to appeal to the eye more.

You might recognise the swirly heart and numbers are grunge-board, the smaller of whcih was embossed in red, and held together with a brad. I then tried to imitate the font in the stamp (don't think I did too badly!) and the lines were stamped. The little house was stamped onto beige card, and masked and sponged with distress inks. The Stamp is from PaperArtsy Squiggly Ink Collection- Love & Kisses 1.

This glaze method is often how I start a canvas, because as the colours are soft, you gradually build. Starting with glazes isn't so scary as acrylics, and they are easy to move around, blend etc. You can also soften the harshness of acrylic with glazes, or create transcluscent, bespoke glazes to your own preference. And of course, they can be a way to seal your work.

A nice finishing touch to any type of mixed media project is to use a metallic or pearlescent glaze. These products can accent texture is a soft subtle way, and the pearlescent glaze mixed into any solid colour will add a really neat tint...particularly striking in darker paint shades.

Have you used glazes before? Let me know how you got on if you have time to drop a comment.

Monday 21 January 2008

Squiggly Crazy

Ok so we all went a bit squiggly dizzy this weekend.

The squiggly stamps are featured on blogs all over the place. Check out Jo and Isa from our DT who dropped everything to do some awesome squiggling action with ink and paper. I'm sure you will be inspired to try out their colour combos and ideas!

On the right is my notebook cover that I made which has got the most oohs and ahhs so I thought you should get to see it too!. This is made with 5x5" manilla tags and bound with the zutter (I love that machine!)

Stamps from Squiggly ink ; Love and Kisses 1, Swirls anc Curls 1, 3&4.

And here'e the back cover

The inks are distress (Spiced Marmalade, Aged Mahogany and Broken China, Shabby Shutters)
The stamps are Squiggly ink -Swirls and Curls 4, Squiggly Mini #8.

Send me pics of your squiggly adventures - watch out, its addictive! In a squiggly kind of way.


Sunday 20 January 2008

It's a squiggly life

This week i have pressed so much rubber! If you haven't heard already we just released a new collection called Squiggly Ink - it's a kind of swirly doodle style which is just SO useful! The new Squiggly Ink stamps look so much fun before you even start, and yesterday, after making them all week and itching to have a go, I finally got to sit down and play! YAY...

So many people are emailing with pics of what they have made too, i think these stamps really are causing a buzz, so I'm thrilled that people love this collection so much.

I always want to do soft and romantic style (maybe its a Valentines thing), but no matter what - it ends up full on colour, so this (left) is my closest to soft that i can do.

Most of these stamps are from Squiggly Ink- Love & Kisses 1, but the background stamp is SM08 (a mini). I love the striped blue background too - I just sponged (with Cut 'n' Dry foam) Broken China Distress Ink (Ranger) onto the edge of an ATC sized card, then stamped the 'stripe' in Walnut Stain Distress ink.

You can't really see it in the photo, but I cut the door out from the front of the house, set it back and raised the rest of the house to the front, so it looks like an arch. The key is plain Grungeboard from my buddie Tim Holtz. You can see various ideas on how to use this product on his blog. The 12 Christmas tags are loaded with great ideas for those of you new to ranger products. Is there anyone new to ranger's cool stuff???

So back to my artwork, they were all made with Distress inks, and this one is my favourite...I think the colours are fab! The feature stamp is Squiggly Ink - Love & Kisses 5 and the Hearts on the red layer are from Squiggly Ink - Swirls and Curls 4 . I used mini SM05 for the tiny hearts in the middle. The wings are swirly grungeboard, the crown is plain grungeboard.

On the left I used Linen, Tattered Rose which were boosted for depth with Worn Lipstick and Vintage Photo, The brackets are in Aged Mahogany. Then stamps, stamps stamp. Loads of images from loads of stamps. This was fun, and the key was to try and keep the pinks and browns in their own zones which softly blend into each other. The background stamps act as a 'bridge' between the zones.

And now for the quirky. I love this kind of stamping, and this is the kind of Valentines Kind I'm most likely to give! Very cheeky . The stamps are from Love and Kisses 6.

Wishing you all a great New Year.