Friday 2 May 2014

{3UP} Night 6: Eclectica - Ellen Vargo

Hi Everyone, it's Leandra here for the sixth night of this semester's 3UP challenge. Only one more night to go! It's been fabulous to see all your comments of encouragement for this week's volunteers! Thank-you! They appreciate it very, very much!

Tonight it's all about the fabulous Ellen Vargo. She has been a wonderful Guest this past semester, and as the newest Designer here at PA, we have loved seeing her own bright and colourful ideas with her stamps.

From the comments I have received at shows recently I know a few of you have been sitting back with quizzical looks on your faces regarding Ellen's stamps, but increasingly I am also hearing 'I get it now' after seeing more and more ideas of how they can be used with gellie plates, brayers, or stripped back painted, stamped layers. Once the penny drops it doesn't take long to get hooked! Abstract is my first love, so I'm into these 'boots and all' ! I think it is fabulous that Ellen does bright and zingy, and someone else can see them as soft and subtle. The variations are endless! My catch phrase seems to be 'versatility', and these stamps are definitely that!

Of course, don't forget we sneakily released 2 more stamps into the Ellen family just this past week! EEV05 and EEV06 We have been shipping these out to shops already, and they add more options to what you could do with Ellen Vargo's stamps.

Tonight's 3UP volunteers were excited to be picked out of the hat for this evening on the blog. Thank-you for volunteering to be part of the 3 UP challenge. We really appreciate it!

FIRST UP: It's Kirsten with a textured, layered abstract composition
To say Kirsten fretted over this is an understatement. You know when you have an idea in your head and you can't get it to work in reality? That! She nearly didn't come to Ally Pally so she could have a day to try and get it pulled together (...I twisted her arm...), she nearly pulled out altogether (...Darcy talked her round...), and now that we can all see this amazing creation, we all wonder what the fuss was about. Not to dismiss her struggle... it's easy to say/ see in hindsight, but of course we have all been there mid-struggle, and while a deadline can induce motivation and productivity, it can just as easily be disruptive to the creative process the closer it looms once the panic sets in! Regardless, Kirsten-the-victorious overcame all the obstacles, and she has certainly pulled the rabbit out of the hat! Well done!

Name: Kirsten Alicia Sheridan
Twitter: @IsisImaginings
Stamp: EEV03, EEV02


Kirsten Says: Hello, I’m Kirsten and I’m thrilled to be part of this new #3UP challenge for PaperArtsy. I started card making about ten years ago, telling myself it would be a nice, easy hobby to have. Famous last words! Since then, I have amassed a room full of all sorts of paints, patterned papers, stamps, stencils, embellishments and the other assorted items that are impossible for us crafters to resist. I am never happier than when I’m sitting at my desk, covered in paint and ink, creating something.

I chose to use Ellen Vargo’s stamps for my #3UP project. I love Ellen’s art work and her stamps are wonderful, with their clean lines and abstract shapes. If I were to tell you all the stages my piece went through we’d be here until next week, so I will save all that for my blog and focus mainly on the background here.

My project was inspired by Henri Gaudier-Breska’s sculpture, ‘Red Stone Dancer’ and the ballet, ‘The Rite of Spring’ and the project initially looked like this:

I got seriously stuck at this point, knowing it wasn’t right, but I couldn’t think how to fix it, so I asked for help and Darcy and my friend Lisa came to my rescue, for which I am extremely grateful.

I wanted the background to be quite muted, but with hints of the shapes that make up the focal images. I gessoed a piece of greyboard first – you could use Snowflake Fresco paint too, but I tend to use it sparingly, it’s too good to be hidden in the background – then began adding and knocking back Ice Blue, Mermaid and Lake Wanaka Frescos, with a paintbrush and baby wipe, until I was satisfied. The next step was splotches of Lake Wanaka with a baby wipe, followed by thin washes of a mix of Snowflake and Ice Blue.  I stamped with EEV02, using the same mix of colours.  When dry this stamping will mostly disappear into the background, but adds another layer of texture.

Next, second generation stamping with Cornflower Blue Archival ink, using the same stamps, a very thin wash of Ice Blue and Snowflake mix so that the stamping doesn't stand out and streaks of Bora Bora and Limelight with a baby wipe – I did this very carefully, knocking back a lot of the paint until there was only a hint of translucent colour. I finished the background with some Bora Bora, applied with a brayer and around the edges, a mix of Beach Hut and GrungePaste tapped on here and there with a palette knife, French Roast was applied with my finger and finally, tiny amounts of Aquamarine Treasure Gold.

Thank you VERY much to Leandra and the entire PaperArtsy team for this opportunity to be part of the #3UP fun and of course to Darcy and Lisa for all their help. I can now look at this piece and not want to throw it in the bin.

SECOND UP: Steven with a set of those cool cube-thingys
Steven also seemed to bite off a big chunk of a challenge, and he also won the battle! I love how he has mixed elements of JoFY, traditional Ink and the Dog, and Ellen's stamps to decorate this cool cube set, with the constant reminder, 'if the plan doesn't work...change the plan' ! Wise advice, and handy to have on the desk at work!
  Name: Steven Macari
Twitter: @smacari
Stamp: EEV03, EEV02


Steven Says: I am a Scottish-Italian male living near Poitiers in France. In order to pay for my crafting addiction I have a day job at CNED, The National Centre for distance learning. I’ve been crafting since I was a kid; knitting, hand and machine, tapestry, cross stitch, tatting, and loads more…. Something about me that PA twits probably might not know?  …… I was an amateur and professional ice figure skater in a previous life.

I’ve had two promotional puzzle cubes from work hanging about the house for ages and had been wanting to transform them long before the 3UP challenge.  I first thought of simply gessoing them then stamping but the gesso didn’t adhere too well so I scraped off the paper, cleaned the plastic cubes with alcohol and started from scratch. I painted and stamped the background on quality cartridge paper but then realized that it was going to be too thick for the folds so yet another change of plan, but not the goal. 

So, I started again from scratch using a sheet of address labels! It worked! - solid enough to take the wet paint and thin enough to fold. The “scratchy circles” EEV02 were stamped in 'Library Green' and 'Crimson' Archival inks. I base coated with blobs of Zesty Zing, Yellow Submarine and Limelight.  Then I highlighted the inside of the swirls with Yellow submarine and Limelight. For the stencil I used the 'Dot Fade'  layering stencil with Smoked Paprika mixed with Metallic Glaze, which didn’t give the effect that I really wanted but was ok.
I used the JM16 to stamp on more labels and coloured with Spanish Mulberry, Blood Orange, London Bus, Limelight, Hyde Park, Zesty Zing, Pumpkin Soup and Smoked Paprika. The words were printed on standard copy paper, coloured with pro-markers. All Flowers and words were fussy-cut, edged with black and then collaged using Glue and Seal. 

Finally I made a little tray of cardboard, and held together and covered with kraft gummed paper (the rolls I use for shipping carton). I then painted a strip of micro-pore and stamped it with the same stamp. The swirl circle is stamped onto a piece of painted grungeboard. I painted another piece of grungepaper and stamped it with MN09. I then hot-glued some acid coloured buttons in position.

THIRD UP: Ruth goes troppo the best possible way!
I am loving this piece by Ruth. She shows so clearly how she has used snowflake to 'block' the layers underneath and bump at the same time. This really lets the upper layers 'pop' and stand out, the overall effect is beautiful. 

Name: Ruth Mescall
Stamp: EEV04, PS002, PS004


Ruth Says: My name is Ruth and I love being able to play around with ink and paint and messy stuff and hopefully create. I can't remember a time not crafting and my earliest memory is sitting on my bedroom floor stitching wool through a pre punched picture card. I have only recently started a blog and I am really enjoying entering challenges and sharing. I was drawn to Ellen Vargos stamps, I could see flowers made out of the leaves and loved the batik look of some of the shapes, so decided to go tropical!

I started with a 20x20 cm piece of greyboard and covered it with a piece of white cotton scrap fabric I had. I wanted some text in the background so stamped two of the phrases from ELB06 in Jet Black Archival Ink. After heat setting it was sealed with some matte medium. I then applied fresco colour with a baby wipe and with lightest first used Zesty Zing, Limelight, Smoked Paprika, London Bus, Beach Hut and Eggplant

To build up the background I stencilled snowflake through the dotty flower on ELB stencil PS004. I mixed together some half snowflake and half metallic glaze and using the two ‘eye’ stamps/leaf pods from EEVO4 randomly stamped the background, this gave a slightly faded but shimmery effect. Next I used pure snowflake and stencilled the flowers and the leaves from PS002 and PS004.

Using the ‘bump’ technique I repositioned the stencils with a nudge to one side and coloured the various flowers and leaves and once dry added some shading by dry brushing paint for further depth. Grunge Paste was applied through the Secret Garden words from stencil PS004 and then Indigo and Florentine Treasure Gold was smudged over. 

Last but not least the large tropical bloom,  I used some temporary adhesive to stick a piece of cotton onto some Heavyweight Smoothy card and stamped the ‘eyes’ from EEV04 and leaves in the same fresco colours. Next a coat of Satin Glaze, which sealed the card and gave a subtle sheen, once dry I cut out the shapes and then curved them between my fingers and assembled 3 rows of 5 petals to get quite a dimensional flower that was glued in place. 

I did enjoy playing with these stamps, thankyou!

Thanks again to all of our magnificent 3 uppers tonight, please make sure to visit their blogs and say Hi! We love what you have done with Ellen's stamps tonight, thanks for your persistence, the results were amazing!

If you would like to play along with our #3UP this week, then feel free to link up by Sunday May 4th at 5pm and go in the draw to win a surprise prize at the end of the week. As it's the end of the semester, the prize will be a special goody bag with a variety of items to the value of £50. 

Each entry generates you a ticket in the draw to win. Maximum number of entries per person is 3. Your entry must be a new creation made this week, and explain which person's 3UP entry inspired you to play along. Good luck, winners will be announced on Sunday May 4th, 7pm.


Darcy Marshall said...

Well done all 3 of you, yet more fabulous projects, and more than a little hard work. Gorgeous colour choices and all so different.

Helen said...

WOW!! Gorgeous brilliant projects, triumphing over adversity from Kirsten and Steven, and just beautiful zingy bright art from Ruth. Love them all, huge well done to you all.

Miriam said...

Gorgeous! I love the different projects here - fabulous!

Steven said...

congrats to my fellow #3Uppers for this evening, much ingenuity, and brilliant colours. Proud to be amongst you this evening! xxx

Clare Lloyd said...

Love all the makes.

Steven said...

oooh, and thanks to Paper Artsy for another fun challenge and to Ellen for those really really brilliant stamps!!

Lucy Edmondson said...

Such imaginative work! Wow!

Lucy x

Hazel Agnew said...

Kirsten....a real work of art. Loads to look at and to be proud of., ingenuity, need to play with this, and Ruth....luscious, love the bump technique, tropical and gorgeous. Thanks PA for more excitement. Xx

JoFY said...

Love all the projects!
Well done Kirsten for persevering with her canvas, and Steven too for the trial and error of making such great cubes! and Ruth - such lovely lush colours!
Well done everyone!

massofhair said...

Three wonderful, bright, creative and out of the box creations. Love them all, thanks to Kirsten, Steven and Ruth for their inspirational projects :-) xxx

sue :) said...

Three great works of art tonight, well done to tonight's 3UPers.

Words and Pictures said...

Fabulous projects from all three... loving Kirsten's brave and bold stroke of cutting the project into panels to create a whole new masterpiece - fantastic!
Alison x

Ruth said...

Wow, fantastic projects Kirsten and Steven, love them both, just shows how versatile these stamps are. thanks again PA!

Carol Plume said...

Great colours and lovely projects - loving those stamps

Keren Baker said...

These are so inspiring. Ending the week on a high! I love the colours and layers of Ruth's, the eclectic and modern style of Steven's and Kirsten's is a wonderful project with so many details! Bravo 3Up'ers!

craftytrog said...

Three amazing projects tonight! x

Unknown said...

Fab projects again! Love them all. Well done! :)

Kathi said...

Wow! Great projects from all three of you!

So impressed. Now I'm feeling the pull of the EV stamps. :D

Craftyfield said...

Once again impressed with the 3#UPpers creations. Kirsten textural piece, Steven's use of Ellen's abstract stamps and the bright and clean colours of Ruth's canvas. Well done all of you!

Rebecca said...

Don't you just love the variety, another super night
Happy craftin

craftimamma said...

What absolutely fabulous creations all three! Well done Kirsten, your final piece was a triumph although I have to say I rather liked the prototype too, lol! Steven your cubes are great and I love the tray. Lovely and zingy! Last but definitely not least Ruth's gorgeous piece. You definitely achieved the tropical look you were after and the 3D flower is truly amazing. Awesome build of layers in the background.

Well done all three of you. You showcased Ellen's stamps beautifully in my humble opinion.

Lesley Xx

Deborah Wainwright said...

Really love all three makes tonight. Huge congratulations to Kirsten, Steven and Ruth. Xxx

Julie Lee said...

Really amazing and original projects tonight. Thank you for the great inspiration all 3! Julie Ann xxx

Unknown said...

Amazing projects all three of you.......Kirst I know how much work you put in to this piece, it is beautiful, you should be proud......hugs Lisa.B.x

Anonymous said...

Thank you VERY much to everyone for your very kind comments. Congrats to Steven & Ruth on their gorgeous projects. Steven's cubes look wonderful, I've got to admit that I'm glad I wasn't the only one who struggled. :) I love Ruth's colours & layers, definitely very tropical.
What a week it's been. Well done to all the #3UP-ers, I'm honoured to be amongst you. And thank you once again to Leandra, Mark, Darcy, Gillian & the entire PA team for all your hard work.

Sandie said...

Brilliant makes all three, I am loving these projects and how everyone is using the stamps in such unique ways.

Cocofolies said...

3 lovely projects with Ellen Vargo's stamps, very creative congrats!!

Emma Joyner said...

Loving all these samples using the Ellen cargo stamps.... Hmmmm, the more I see them used the more I like them.
I was really inspired by Kirsten's and Ruth's work that I made some tags in line with their creativeness, thanks for the virtual sending of mojo! Lol

Kezzy said...

Wow loving all the awesome creations especially as I lurrrrve Ellens stamps :-) Kezzy xxx