"Hello everyone, Wanda here. I am extremely excited to be here! I about fell off my chair waaayyy back in December of 2013 when I received an email from Leandra asking if I'd be interested in being in their line up of guest designers for 2014. I was then flooded with this mix of excitement and fear and questions to myself like "should I do this", "what if I totally mess it up", "what if the stress is too much", "what if life is crazy when I have to do this", "what if I make something ugly", and on and on and on.... followed by a pep talk reminding myself that if I do this, I just have to be me! I already had some Fresco Finish Paints and getting more was on my wish list and I did like most of their stamps so, as you can tell, my answer was YES!!!! (And yes I still have pep talks with myself :-)
First a little bit about me. I've been married to Chuck for almost 31 years and we have 3 children. The youngest is still at home with one more year of high school left. We live in Southern Iowa about one hour straight south of Des Moines. We have a welding shop located just across our back yard and, yes, I do weld. The hubby taught me when he needed my help. How much time I spend out there depends on the work load and the employee situation. I also do all the paperwork for the business. I began stamping in 1999 and fell in love!!! Stamping and making cards lead to book making, jewelry making, altered books, altered anything, atcs, canvases, and art journaling. I've been on design teams, been published in magazines, and did online classes back when the big thing was to have them in chat rooms with pictures posted on picturetrails. I still have my picturetrail Here with all the old classes and other things still there. One day maybe I'll get everything moved to my blog... maybe".
Today I'm sharing an autumn themed project using Lin Brown stamps from sets ELB05, ELB06, ELB07, ELB09. A friend was over a couple months ago for an arty play day and she made the comment that I should do a paper chime sometime and I could not get that out of my head and thought it would make a great project to share here. I first thought butterflies and then flowers (2 of my favorite things), but as I thought about the time of year and as I was looking at the PA website I settled on autumn. The combination of Lin's stamps along with Chipboard shapes (ES04) and a cutting die (Branch) seemed like a match made in heaven.
I love it when I see a tree in the fall with an array of colors from green to yellow and orange and red and that's what I went with for my colors.
Quite often when I'm working on a large project I will test drive ideas as I go along and that's what I did with the leaves. I had already decided that a spread and dip method of adding paint to the chipbard leaves would probably work well but wanted to try it out and did so with one leaf. I put paint on my craft sheet, spread it out, pressed the leaf into it, picked it up, turned it over, pressed the other side down, picked it up, dried it a bit and then left it on the craft sheet to completely dry. Went back to check it out later and noticed that the grey side was not as bright looking as the white side (made sense and I had thought it might be that way and it let me know to prep first with snowflake) and also noticed that spots of paint that weren't dry before I set the leaf down and then dried against the craft sheet had a shine to them rather than being matte so I knew I didn't want to do that. Other than that, I loved the look.
I took all the leaves I was going to use, painted the grey side and the edges with Snowflake and let them dry. Next I put puddles of Chartreuse (from Lin's 1st Limited Edition Set), Yellow Submarine, Tango, and London Bus on the craft sheet and used my palette knife to spread the paint.
I pressed the number of leaves that would fit into the paint.
I pulled each one up and set it aside to dry. I again spread the paint around, adding more as necessary, and continued pressing leaves until they were all done. After the first side was completely dry on all the leaves I repeated the process to color the other side of the leaves. After those were all dry, there were some white spots along some edges and I used a paint brush and Chartreuse to fill those in as the white was just too white.
I also splattered Old Gold paint onto the leaves so as they turn and move the light catches those spots and sparkles. That can be very hard to catch in a photo but I tried. You can at least tell there are speckles on the leaves. I also sponged some Vintage Photo Distress Ink around the edges.
While I had been mulling the whole project over in my mind I had decided I would have a circle of paper for the top but knew that I would have to put together 2 or more strips for the piece to be long enough to make a circle large enough which would mean seams in the paper circle and I didn't want them stand out so I was trying to figure out what I could do. I decided that I could wrap tissue tape around where the seams would be and I could even add other wraps so that it all looked consistent but, again, I didn't want the tissue tape to stand out either, lol. The matching leaf stamp and die to the rescue!! (The stamp is the bottom left one on sheet ELB07) I could cut leaves that I would layer over the tissue tape spots so everything flowed smoothly. I tried a few practice runs, stamping the image and then die cutting. I thought I should just be able to eyeball setting the die over the image and then cutting but it wasn't working. Slightly frustrated I actually set it aside and walked away.
I did think about using the leaf stamp from set ELB09 but I really wanted a border that I could leave white to help the leaves pop from the background. The next day as I was looking at them again, it hit me, I could take the negative of a cut out leaf, lay it over my stamped leaf and then place the die in that negative just where I wanted it to be. I tried it with a left over piece from the day before and it worked but a little heavier and colored cardstock with my opening would make lining up the opening and replacing the die easier so I cut myself a new pattern (the green piece). I stamped on image on Smoothy White Stamping Card with Jet Black Archival Ink and dried it.
I laid it on my cutting surface and placed the colored negative cut piece over the image so I had a border all the way around.
Then holding this in place, I placed the die exactly where it needed to be, put the top cutting plate over it and run it through my die cutting machine. Because my pattern was a heavier cardstock I had to run it through my machine a couple of times for it cut through my stamped paper completely but that was fine.
And then I had my cut leaf!!!!! I repeated this so I had 4 leaves.
I used a water brush along with Yellow Submarine and London Bus to paint these leaves leaving the border area white.
Back when I was first thinking about the project I thought I would just have the circle of paper for the top, add eyelets to hang leaves from and to put the top hanger on, but the more I thought about it and how easy it would be for the top to get out of shape I knew I wanted some kind of support. I wondered if you could still find metal rings at the craft stores and the next time we were in Des Moines we stopped to look and, yes, they did!! The metal ring has a diameter of about 7 1/4" (just over 18cm). I had decided I wanted to hang leaves from the center also so to make a support for that I used craft wire stretching it across and wrapping the wire several times around the ring. Two wires would probably have been enough but it didn't take that long and four wires meant more strength for the center and I felt better about that. I had already figured circumference of the circle and thought 2 strips of cardstock (cut the long way from Smoothy Heavy Weight cardstock) would reach all the way around but I did test run that (with the hubby helping to hold it) just to be sure and to get a rough idea of how much the strips would overlap. Two would work fine which would mean 2 seams but decided I would also place tape and leaves half way between so it would look like 4 sections.
I cut the strips of heavy smoothy cardstock to 4 1/4" wide. I wanted to keep to the same color palette as the cardboard leaves but lighten it up just a bit for the header piece and since yellow and red make orange and I would be blending a bit as I went I didn't use tango. I put just a drop of snowflake with the other colors and mixed each one. Before starting to paint I stamped the leaf image from set ELB09 on the strips using Archival Ink . I wanted the pattern to be seamless all around the top so as I stamped or painted I always matched my ends together.
Here are the two strips painted. I used Cut N Dry foam to apply the paint blending a little between colors but allowing large areas of color to be.
Here you can see that the ends flow together. I also painted the backside of the strips in the same way but didn't do any stamping or stenciling on the back.
Next I stenciled leaves (PS005). I added just a little bit of Tinned Peas to Chartreuse as the Chartreuse was just a little too light to show up very well.
Again I matched up my ends so everything would flow together.
Lastly I stamped another leaf stamp over the pieces using Archival Ink Red Geranium.
The background is done and I wanted to add some encouraging messages. I started to just stamp them with Archival Ink Jet Black but then decided I needed to know about where the tissue tape would be to be sure I wasn't going to cover up any words, so I temporarily put some down.
Doing a test run of the die cut leaves before they were painted. I alternated the orientation - up, down, up, down.
To assemble the top header piece, I began by putting together one set of ends overlapping them by only about 1/8" of an inch, adhering the overlap with red line tape so I knew it would hold and then wrapped it with tissue tape overlapping the tape on the back lining up the edges. I carefully wrapped this around the metal ring, measured exactly how much the other ends overlapped, and took it back off. I added red line tape and adhered those ends overlapping to the correct measurement. Again I wrapped tissue tape around the seam and then also added my in-between wraps of tissue tape. To blend the tape in a bit, I painted over it with Chartreuse.
Before actually putting the header on the ring to stay, I needed to start my cording for the hanger and to hang the leaves on. (I neglected to take pictures while I figured this out but hopefully you can see it well enough in these after pics). I cut two pieces that would be long enough to create the hanger, go down to the metal ring, tie to the ring, and hang down to the first leaf on each one with enough cord to tie the leaf on (and some extra in case my estimate was off). I held these 2 pieces together, ends matching, folded it in half and tied a knot about 1 3/4" down from the center (this loop is my hanger).
I then held it over the ring figuring how far down I wanted to go from the hanger to the ring and wondered how I was going to make sure it all stayed even as I tied each piece to the metal ring... think... think... think... ah-ha!!!.... after deciding how long I needed it to be from the hanger to the metal ring, I laid out the cording in a straight line and used a marker to mark across all 4 pieces at the same length from the knot and this is where they would tie onto the metal ring. I tied them all onto the ring keeping them evenly spaced around the ring and, yay, it hang straight!!!
Back when I was first wrapping the header around the ring to figure out how much overlap I needed on the second seam, I realized that it wasn't going to just stay in place very well, I needed to do something to keep it in place. I decided I could tie it on with the same cording I was using to hang everything and I could do this in the same spots I would be gluing the leaves on the outside so it would be covered on the outside. After figuring how far down on the header I wanted the metal ring to be, I pierced two vertical holes centering them in each of the tissue tape areas. I cut pieces of cording for each place and threaded that cording through the holes leaving the ends hanging on the inside to tie around the metal ring. I slid the header over the ring getting it in place all the way around with a tail on each side of the ring at all four places and tied it on. I added a little bit of white glue to each knot, let it dry, and then cut the tails short.
Next I glued the leaves to the outside using matte gel medium. Where this leaf needed to be glued on, it left some of the cording showing but is barely noticeable when you look at the whole project.
Finally it was time to tie on all the leaves. I have 4 strings hanging down around the perimeter and one in the center, 2 leaves on each string spaced out. I punched holes in the leaves using a Crop-a-dile, tied the cording through the hole, added white glue to the knot, let it dry, and trimmed the tails close. I hung the leaves so they weren't all facing the same direction (up, down, sideways) to give a more natural look of falling.
When I was adding paint to the chipboard shapes I "mopped up" the extra paint with a scrap strip of heavy smoothy that looked fabulous and I also had that test leaf sitting there so I decided to make a quick card. The folded white card is 8 1/4" x 4". I cut the strip of painted card to 5 1/2" long, it was already 2 3/8" wide. I stamped the quote with Archival Ink Jet Black, dried it with a heat tool, and distressed the top and bottom edges of the panel. I laid a gold meshy ribbon across the card, glued the panel over it and glued the leaf on as shown. The only glue holding the ribbon is behind the panel and the leaf. Finally I decided it needed some black dots around the panel.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing these projects as much as I enjoyed making them!!!!! And I hope you'll consider joining in with the monthly challenge as well as popping by tomorrow evening to see project #2.
A huge thank you from all at PaperArtsy HQ Wanda. We are delighted to have you join us and what a debut project you have created with Autumnal colours and falling leaves, it really looks amazing. The construction of the mobile chime was fascinating as was the cording hanger, thank you for sharing this process. I like that you left the border area white on the leaves, not only does it make them "pop" but attracts the eye beyond to the layered backdrop. Bravo Wanda.
We would love you to join in with our monthly challenge. If you are inspired by any of this month's guests who have blogged between Sept 1st 2014 and Sept 30th 2014 then join in and link up your creativity HERE. You will go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. You need to add your link by 19:00 (London time) Sept 30th 2014