Monday 31 March 2014

GD: Clare Lloyd - Cotton Spool Garland {Part 2}

"Hello everyone as promised,Clare back again tonight to show you how I completed my Cotton Spool Garland". So are we ready to begin??

Last night I had painted my Cotton Spools and stamped onto my Prima Paper Flowers. It was now time to thread them all together and I decided to use simple garden twine to do that.

I used a large eyed sewing needle to thread all the spools, I pulled the twine through well and left a good amount of twine either end to tie it up.

My garland needed some spacers and after a bit of thought decided the new Ellen Vargo Sets would make a perfect bunting spacer. I stamped the images up onto a Paper Artsy Manilla Tag using Archival Potting Shed Ink, leaving a little gap between each image for a fold line. 

My bunting spacers then got cut out, folded and stapled to my garland. 

I repeated this along my whole garland using different shapes from the Ellen Vargo Set 01 stamps. 

I worked from 1 side to the other so after the  first 2 spacers were added I focussed on the central panel. For this I used  a PaperArtsy Manilla tag, the square stamp element from Ellen Vargo Set 01and created a repeat pattern all over the tag. The tag was then trimmed down, I added a sentiment which seems to match the design from a set of floral quotes by E Lin Brown 05.

It needed something else? After playing around with more paper flowers, some wooden embellishment I finally decided on one of the Prima Vintage Roman Numeral Trinkets. This was painted with some Chocolate Pudding Fresco paint, I also added a little stamping using another element from the Sara Naumann 08 set and glue into onto my centre panel.

Here is a photograph of my Cotton Spool Garland hung up on a shelving unit where I display some of my craft projects.

Join me again tomorrow evening when I will be back with my final project of this week. I do hope you are being inspired to play along. Clare!

Leandra Says: Wow, Ellen's stamps make great bunting! I have been using them for that too, but stamped onto fabric to cover a 9 metre length for our stand at Version Scrap this weekend! So I am totally loving seeing another take on bunting! Neat idea!

Gillian Says: Fantastic idea to use Ellen's designs as individual spacers and bunting. I adore the way you have brought this project altogether. A great fun project to brighten up any space.
If you would like to join in this week's challenge and play along with Claire's techniques, then do link up your creativity here, and go in the draw to win some PA stamps of your choice! You need to link your entry by 17:00, Sunday April 6th 2014

Sunday 30 March 2014

Welcome Back GD: Clare Lloyd - Cotton Spool Garland {Part 1}

"Hello everyone, Clare back with some more inspiration and here is something different for you all to try ... a cotton spool garland. It would be perfect to display in your craft room or around the house". 

First I rummaged 3 pairs of cotton spools from my stash and paint them with a quick coat of Chocolate Pudding Fresco paint. I didn't worry much about painting the ends as I knew I was going to cover them up and I am all for taking some crafting short cuts...wink!

Once dried I painted a coat of Nougat Fresco paint onto them, blasted them quickly with the heat gun until they weren't completely dry and then scraped and sanded them back to create a shabby chic effect.

I decided to add a touch of stamping to my spools using Archival Potting Shed Ink and I used some word stamps from the E Sara Naumann 08 set. I placed my Flexi Block onto my craft table with the rubber stamp, inked it up and rolled my spool over the top adding some pressure to make sure it stamped well.

Next out came this vibrant tube of Prima Petal Palette Handmade Paper Flowers and I worked out how I was going to mix the colours to add to my garland.

To tie my spools and flowers together I stamped them up with more images from the E Sara Naumann Set 08 and also some stamps by Ellen Vargo from her latest collection called Eclectica Set 1. Pairs of flowers were then stuck together, added to the end of each of the spools. I used some dry dot matrix adhesive to do this as I will need to thread them all together later and didn't want to have to struggle through super sticky glue.

I hope you have enjoyed the first installment of this weeks featured project. Join me again tomorrow night for part two. Until then .... Clare!

Leandra Says: Looking great so far Clare! A girl can't have too many spool and paper flowers! Looking forward to your posts this week!

Gillian Says: Love the effect you created with the distressed/worn look to the spools. ESN08 works perfectly. Can't wait to see more:)

If you would like to join in this week's challenge and play along with Claire's techniques, then do link up your creativity here, and go in the draw to win some PA stamps of your choice! You need to link your entry by 17:00, Sunday April 6th 2014

Weekly challenge and Winners {April:Week 1}

Hi everyone Darcy here. Last week was wonderful, as always. Pam had 3 really great posts for us. I loved seeing the use of stitching on her pages, but my favourite was the keepsake pocket, how fab an idea was that. Did you make one? Then we had Brenda's beautiful botanical tag, Jo's embossed tulips(didn't you just want to touch them?) and a stunning flower wreath from Deborah. So many gorgeous projects.

Thanks to everyone who joined in and made projects last week.We, and the designers truly love seeing your creations.  And thank you also for all the comments left on blog posts.It means a lot to us all that you take the time to leave comments. 

1. And the winners are...
Random winner #1 from the First Challenge draw (every single entry linked, including multiple entries) is: Etsuko

 Congratulations, you have won a PaperArtsy A5 stamp of your choice. 

 Random winner #2 the winner from the Second Challenge draw, (only one entry per name)
 is: Craftyfield

 Congratulations, you have won a PaperArtsy A5 stamp of your choice.

*Winners please get in touch with Darcy ( with your full  name,  address and choice of stamp plate. 

2. The week ahead...

Tonight we start by welcoming back  Clare Lloyd Let's see what she has been creating since we last saw her.  A while back Clare joined in with the 29Faces challenge, she got hooked and was missing doing them, so here is another one.  I love how this is on a journalling tag and you can see the lines through the face. 

Next I found a gorgeous piece that Clare has created as part of Documented Life Project.

Finally I spied this beautifully decorated box, here is a snippet, pop over to Clare's blog to see the rest of the photos. 

Sit back, and get ready for another great week ahead. 

3. P.A.Weekly Challenge from....{Clare and other guests}

Clare will be joined in the latter part of the week with other surprise guests, and of course, if you are inspired by any item you see on the blog this week, then please share what you get up to, and link your creativity here on the weekly challenge link. 

Your challenge entry can link to your own blog, Pinterest or Flickr pages, or any webpage that shows us what you have made in response to the posts on the blog this week. Just make sure you come back to this post, and use the linking tool below to show us your entry. We have extended the challenge entry deadline to 5pm on Sunday evenings.

Make sure on Sunday 6th April by 17:00 (5pm London time) you need to have your link entered below, and you will go into one of 2 draws to win new stuff.

To help you find the linky tool when you need it, just look at the final green paragraph on each blog post, there you will find a link that brings you back to this post.

Weekly Challenge guidelines
The first draw is for every single entry listed, so if you have multiple entries, you get entered multiple times. 

The second draw is only for one entry per name, and the winner of Draw 1 is not included in this second draw. Having 2 draws makes it fair for everyone, no matter how many times you can join in during the week.

As this challenge is to show how you have been inspired to action by this week's designer, make sure in your blog post you explain what prompted you to create.

Please don't feel you need to copy a designer's work exactly, it may be one small aspect or idea that you want to explore that sends you into the creative zone. You are also welcome to use any stamps/ products / substrates you have to hand, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - but of course it is lovely when you do!

The winners are announced Sunday evenings in the 7pm blog post (as above). It is your responsibility to check back and see if you have won. If you are a winner, email Darcy with the name of the stamp you would like, and your snail address. We do not chase people for unclaimed prizes.

If we are away at an event, then the winners post would generally be updated by Monday evening with draw details.

Saturday 29 March 2014

Darcy Journalling Month 3 {with Eclectica³ Ellen Vargo & Lin Brown Stamps by Darcy Wilkinson}

Hi Everyone, Darcy here, back with another journalling page for you to try out. But first a huge thank you to everyone who took part last month. I loved looking at your journal pages, I was seriously impressed with the amount of work that went into those pages. they were complicated pages, and you all did brilliantly, so well done!

Winner of Month two is Krafty Pieces - Carol please contact me to choose an A5 stamp from any of my Eclectica³ Darcy UK collections.

This month is a bit easier.As in, not so many techniques, but it is a bit wild and funky!

 Usually when I do a page, I have an idea of the final focal image. that is my starting point, once I have that in my mind I work back over and come up with a background that will set off my focal image. Of course things change along the way, but I usually have an idea of the direction that I am taking. Well that didn't happen this month. I love Ellen Vargo's new stamps, but as there is no focal image I was a little lost as to how to begin. So I threw caution to the wind and just got stuck in. I figured the paints and stamps would dictate what happened. 

This is what I came up with. It is my Alien Terrarium. How I imagine plants would be grown on a spaceship or on an alien planet...ok  so maybe that is just me lol

I started with texture. I glued in some book pages, but I did not add glue right to the edges. once the glue was dry I was able to peel up the edges and rip part of the book paper away. This does 2 things, it softens the text and also creates wonderful raggedy edges. Rip away any parts that are loose. 

Now to add some colour. I knew I wanted to play with Lin Brown's new paints. they looked so yummy, but the colours are so different to ones I am used to, so where to start?

Firstly, I pulled out some translucent colours that i thought might work well with Lin's paints. I painted little squares as you can see. This gave me a great indication of what colours would look good next to each other. 

Now I had this range of colours, all translucent, I needed to know how they would mix. So I made this chart, mixing each of Lin's paints with all the other colours that I had pulled out. For me Chartreuse comes out as a winner, as it blends so nicely with all the other colours. 

Using my paint chart, I mixed up Chutney with Hey pesto, and also with chartreuse. I used these three to colour the bottom part of the pages. At the top I created mixes of Chartreuse and Tikka, and also Chartreuse with London Bus.

Keeping the theme of light side and dark side, I used Lin's stencil PS001. On the dark side I used a mix of Snowflake,Chartreuse and Tikka. on the light side I stencilled with just Chutney.  I then inked up Ellen's sketchy circle from EEV02, and stamped it over the larger stencilled spots. 

Next I used the triangle stamp from EEV01. I wanted the size and shape but not the lines, so I stamped in snowflake and then filled in each shape. 


Once these were dry I painted some with Beach Hut and some with South Pacific. When I had the depth of colour that I liked, a couple of coats on some of them, I then stamped each one again with black archival. This is such a bold border it is not needed all the way around. 

You might think that involved unnecessary layers, why do the white layer I hear you ask? Great question. These are translucent colours, and as such they do not cover up what is beneath. If I had used the blues straight onto the page , this is what you would have seen. The spots underneath are showing through, and the blues look dark and lifeless. By using the snowflake layer we create a great base for the blues, making sure they are true and vibrant.  

Of course you could do your blue triangles onto white smoothy card, cut them out and glue them in, but knowing how you can block out a base layer with Snowflake before adding a translucent is a handy thing to know. 

At this point I loved it, but of course it needed something in the middle. To create a base for that I used a brayer to add a little snowflake. Not heavy or solid, just light strokes. You can see how the white picks up the edges of the book paper. To tie in the border, I added some white dots around the triangles. 

This is where it started to look like an alien planet to me!

How would aliens grow plants? or how would we grow them on a spaceship? I figured they might be in in glass tanks/terrariums. So with that slightly bizarre thought in mind I created a frame. I used the square stamp from EEV01 in a repeating pattern, though where the frame crossed over the blue triangle, I masked them off. 

Now to fill my frame with flowers. I began with stencil PS002. My first layer was Chutney, I dried this, then replaced the stencil and shifted it ever so slightly and added a layer of snowflake. Again I dried this layer, replaced the stencil and shifted it to the side again before adding Charteuse and Hey Pesto. By shifting your stencil from side to side only by a couple of millimetres you can create light and shadow in your colours. 

I used my finger to add a little Eggplant to the inside of the frame, then I filled in the blank areas with 2 layers of text. First I stamped a text stamp from ELB06 in Potting soil, I immediately wiped this back with a dry baby wipe. then I restamped the text using Watering Can. 


You can now see 3 layers of text. First the book page, way in the background, then the smudgey brown text and finally the grey text . It looks blurry in this close up, but in real life the brown creates a good shadow. I also edged the leaves with a sharpie fine pen. I did not want the text to be bold, which is why I used the brown and grey and not black. 

Now to add a little depth to the frame. I painted a piece of smoothy card with Chartreuse, then I stamped the square from EEV01 lots of times with a mix of Chutney and Eggplant. I cut out just the centre section of the squares, and positioned them over the black squares that are already in the book. 

I now had a decision to make, do I cut around the bit where the new square will cross the blue triangles? or do I cover it up?

I decided to cover it up. This creates some strange layers, the black square is behind the blue triangle, but the Chartreuse square is on top.. Of course if you are going for a realistic look, this simply wouldn't work, but I like the contradiction. However it is something to consider when you are layering up items. You will see my leaves go over the frame aswell. If it truly was a glass frame this would not be possible, but we are artists and therefore anything is possible.. yes?

Now to add another layer and more dimension. I mixed some Grunge Paste with Chutney and stencilled through PS005. While the paste was still damp I stamped into it with text from ELB06. Once dry I painted the flower with snowflake. Again we are messing with the laws of perspective, by having the large flower come over the frame. 

I coloured the flower with Beach Hut and South Pacific, then added Treasure Gold Ltd Ed2 and White Fire. It need a stem, so I used the stem and bud from PS003. I painted that with Chartreuse and Hey Pesto, then added Treasure Gold in Olive Bronze. As a final touch I added more white dots. 

I then moved to the left page, I have no idea why I did the right side first? I used exactly the same techniques to create a second frame. 

I stamped a black frame using the long bar stamp from EEV03. I then stencilled and painted the leaves from PS006. 


Again I outlined the leaves with a fine Sharpie pen. 

I then added the coloured part of the frame, again cut smaller than the black layer and glued on top. 

I created the top layer in this frame using stencil PS004, grunge paste and fresco paint.  I stamped into the flowers with text from ELB06, and finished them with Treasure gold Onyxite and White Fire. The right of the frame looked bare, so I brought back the very first stencil from the background, PS001. I used Grunge Paste, followed by Treasure gold in Royal Amethyst and White Fire

Again we have the contradiction, some bits of the frame are behind the blue pods, the flowers from inside the frame, are actually outside it... It shouldn't work, but it does. 

how many of you use Treasure Gold, hands up, don't you just love it? but, how many of you forget to go back and polish it after it has dried?

Don't forget! just look at the shine on those seed heads. 

I created a small frame at the top of the left page, this time I used the skinny border from EEV03, done in Seaweed and South Pacific, it ended up looking like danger tape lol.. maybe that is fitting for our spaceship? 

I added the text from ELB06, and filled inside the frame with SM15 and Watering can Archival ink.

SM 15

I finished by adding a few more white dots here and there, and filling in some of the background with SM15. 

The left side me this is like looking through a window to an alien land beyond.. do you see it?

the right side finished. 

Not having a direction with this page was frustrating, and at times I felt it was fighting me, or I was fighting with it lol but it all turned out ok and I like my freaky alien/spaceship plants. 

Ideas for you to explore this month:
  • using ripped book paper as texture
  • Grunge paste, tinting and stamping into
  • Masking off areas with scrap card 
  • Using mainly translucent paints
  • Mixing translucent paints to create new shades
  • Using a white pen to highlight
  • Shifting stencils from side to side  to create shading when adding colour
  • Glueing in stamped images to add a layer
  • Using Treasure Gold
  • Create a paint swatch/pallette to choose shades from
  • Create a window/frame to a view beyond
See you next month, Darcy x

P.S next month I will be using Ellen's stamps,with Jo Firth Young's paints and stencils, if you would like to play along. 

If you would like to join in then please link up how you were inspired by the techniques presented above using the linky below (this is a separate link to the weekly PA challenges). This journal challenge will remain open for a month, and will end the day before my next journal page. 

Please follow the guidelines below, and enter your journal page to be in with a chance of winning one of Ellen Vargo's stamp plates PLUS a Lin Brown stencil.

  • This challenge is to show how you have been inspired to action by this month's example make sure in your blog post you explain what part or technique prompted you to create a page of your own. 
  • Make sure you have your journal page entry linked up by 5pm (London time) April 25th 2014. 
  • Winner will be announced the following day.
  • There will only be ONE draw, ONE winner. You may link up as many times as you like but each name will only go into the draw once.
  • Please don't feel you need to copy the example exactly.
    You are also welcome to use any stamps/ products / substrates you have to hand, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - but of course it is lovely when you do!