Monday 22 December 2014

Xmas 2014 #3UP {Backgrounds}

Hi everyone Leandra here, curating a week of #3UP posts. 

3UP is a feature we run at the conclusion of each semester. We feature the creativity of our blog, twitter and facebook followers.They are given a brief, and this time they were asked to show us their favourite techniques. All those who volunteered are featured over the next 7 nights, so we have lots of ideas for you to explore of the Christmas period in your down time.

Tonight is all about backgrounds. This is such a wide topic, everyone has their own take on the perfect background; inks, dye sprays, stamping, painting, gelli-printing, brayering...the list is infinite. For me, making a background is always my first step before I do anything else. I might select a scrapbook paper, or an old book pages, or a blank piece of smoothy card, I then tweak it to feature the colours I'm going to work with. So lets see what the 3 people up tonight prefer to do. Enjoy!

First up it's Craftyfield. (@craftyfield) She loves to use washes of Fresco Chalk Acrylics to create her background, specifically with the translucent ones which of course are brighter, and layer up allowing the under-layers to be visible. Put a red on top of a blue, and you will create areas of purple. Do the same thing with opaques, and you will soften, make things more pastel or totally obliterate. Perhaps a mix of both would work for you? on...

Hello everyone, Craftyfield here. I am delighted to feature again in this special event, it's a fun and wonderful way of getting involved and sharing with like minded crafters. This is a feature unique to the PA blog so 3 cheers to Leandra!

My chosen technique for this post is "Using Frescos in translucent washes for backgrounds". The technique is actually simple so there isn't much to explain about the HOW, and you'll probably all think, completely underwhelming! So I need to explain WHY this is an interesting technique for me.

Acrylic paints are a recent addition to my crafting arsenal and although my brain understands its numerous advantages, in practice I struggle with them because the paint dries too quickly and it is opaque. Coming from years of watercolours, I am used to a medium that allows me room to manoeuvre: if the colour I've applied is too dark I mop it up to lighten it, too light and I can overlay another wash. I want to be able to change what I have just painted.

This is where PA Fresco paints are different to other acrylic paints. They allow me to use acrylics in the manner that I have become accustomed to because they have unique properties: the finish is matte AND translucent (provided that you select translucent colours, as is clearly labelled on the bottles). Being acrylics, they are permanent when dry which means that further layers can be applied without disturbing previous layers as is quite common in watercolours.... the best of both worlds.

Step One: 

Prepare a wash of Fresco paint, apply quickly and feather the edges by dipping the brush in more water, this is applied onto Chatsworth Paper, by PaperArtsy..

Step Two:

Prepare a second colour and apply in the same way making sure you overlay your first colour in some areas. Dry!

Steps 3 onwards:

Now I have transformed my paper to match the colours in my photos I start using stencil PS001 and stamps from the following sets: EEV06, ESN10 to customise my page further.

Rather than rabbiting on I will let you see the coming together of the layout in this slide show:

I then placed my photos and embellishments, all home-made on the layout. The butterfly is stamped on vellum and coloured with alcohol inks (Hot Pick 1203).

Hope you enjoyed my technique and project and try it out sometime! I'd love to share the excitement over on Twitter but thanks to the wonder of scheduled posts I am not really here and will be mostly incommunicado for the next few days! So if I don't respond it's not that I am ignoring you!


Next we have Rebecca Harris. (@Craftin_Coates) Rebecca had a plan, but then she totally went in a different direction as inspired by some fabric she recently bought, look how it turned out! Fabulous....

Well here we are again…PaperArtsy 3UP challenge…Oooo exciting!

This one’s all about techniques, we were asked to be creative with our favourite technique. Now I love to try all sorts of techniques and can be a little fickle and just tag along with the current trend…but I do love to create backgrounds, to the point that I think it’s a shame to cover them with a focal point LOL.

Now there are three of us in this group and we were given permission to discuss what we were doing to make sure we didn't duplicate or if we wanted to harmonise our efforts, I’m quite happy to go along with the flow and had planned to do something Christmassy with a mosaic theme and use colours that you wouldn’t normally associate with Christmas BUT then I saw this fat quarter bundle which really caught my eye and it was half price to boot and everything was turned on its head!!

But what was I going to do with it?? It took me a while and time was creeping ever closer to our deadline, so I just sat there for a while then thought…stencils.  A sort through of my PA stencils found PS001 PS002 and PS005. Off to my stash of Fresco Finish paints, I wanted something that would complement the grey/blue of the fabric but also something that would jump out and shout too and so I used Marlin, Nougat and Blood Orange.

Step One: 

Firstly I created a shaded effect with the Marlin and Nougat using the leaf stencil from PS005; I was really pleased how this turned out as I wasn’t sure I would be able to create the shade on the fabric. 

Step Two:
Then came the Blood Orange with the wispy leaf from PS002, now I really liked this and as it’s transparent you could just see the fabric pattern through the leaves. As it had already worked I created shading again using all 3 colours using the gorgeous large flower head and just had a play, finally I filled the gaps with the PS001 and a honeycomb stencil mixing Marlin and Nougat.

Now I know it’s not the British way…but I really like how this turned out and although it is simple I really didn’t want to cover it up and thought what to do next as a finished product, so I scanned it, as you do! I printed the scan onto normal card but I wasn’t happy with the colours so tried it onto matte photo paper and that was much better.

Luckily it’s my brother and sister in-laws wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks so I thought I’d make a quick card. I used a section of the scanned fabric as the background and stamped the hearts from Darcy’s EDY01 with the Blood Orange onto an off-cut then mounted them on some rich velvet paper and adhered them to the card in a cluster hanging from some ribbon and sponged the edges with more Blood Orange.

Step 3:
So what to do with the fabric? I took some of the other fabric from the bundle and applied a thin layer of Satin Glaze to make it a little stiffer and easier to die cut, using a selection of PA Grunge Flower dies #1, #2 and #3 I die cut various flowers and created a 3D flower to attach to the fabric which was all stitched onto a canvas bag.

Anyway I’ve waffled on enough, hope you like the project and Merry Christmas everyone.

Happy Craftin

Our final contributor tonight is Jacqui Chimes. (@jacquichimes). Jacqui is showing us how to create a background with the paper piecing technique, a bit like patchwork for paper, a striking way to use up leftovers too....

My Paperartsy #3UP offerings this time are just a little bit Christmassy. I love all the new Paperartsy stamps but sadly don’t have any so had to go back (willingly) to a few old favourites. I decided to use the same focal point images in 3 different ways. 

The stamp sets I used are from the Squiggly Ink Series: Egg and Nog  1, SIEN3 and SIEN4, Squiggly Mini 15 and Ink and the Dog Mini 72.

First is a card made entirely of patterned scrapbook papers. The trees are stamped in Black Archival ink, cut out and layered up with die cut circles. I have added a few metal stars for accent and the result is a very quick and easy card.

Second is a more ‘arty’ version. I have created my own papers by painting white card with PaperArsty Fresco Finish paints. I used cut and dry foam and built up many layers, making sure each layer was dry before adding the next. I used Guacamole, Limelight and Hey Pesto. For the red I used Claret, Brown Shed and Blood Orange. I mixed in some Snowflake as I went along. This is how the green looked early on.

And here are the completed backgrounds (I changed the red stencilled stars for circles using Paperarsty stencil PS003 to get a better balance for the finished card). Hey Pesto is used for the green stencilling and Claret for the red.

And here’s the finished card with a few metal star embellishments and little Gold Stickles. In real life this is very vibrant.

The red spots and stripes are cut from the red paper and stuck on (paper pieced) – this is a bit fiddly but is worth it.

And finally a different colour way. This time I painted an MDF heart (4.5” x 5.5”) with Antarctic and Snowflake Fresco Finish paint blending carefully where they met. I stamped circles and splodges with Silver Brilliance ink, which looks lovely in real life but doesn't show up well in the photographs. A black fine liner was used to create the ‘hills’. The trees were stamped with Black Stazon ink onto silver card, cut out and then run through the Cuttlebug in the Swiss dots folder to add texture. Metal stars were used again for the embellishments and Elephant Fresco Finish paint added a little subtle shading. White seam binding is used for the hangar.

What a fantastic opening to our week of #3UP. We hope you get a chance to enjoy these ideas, and perhaps have a go yourself too, the best way to learn is to do, and for many of us, once the rush of Christmas is over, I'm sure coming back here for some inspiration may be on your list!

See you again tomorrow night.


We would love you to go in our challenge draw for a prize from PaperArtsy, a voucher to spend in our online shop. Link up your creativity HERE. All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. This link will close 17:00 (London Time) December 31st 2014, the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00, Dec 31st, 2014.


Helen said...

Wow some really creative techniques here for sure. I was really taken with Rebecca's fabric, whilst Jacqui's cards are stunning, and Craftyfield's backgrounds make for a fabulous layout.

Kirsten said...

Wow! Lots of great techniques culminating in fantastic projects & all so different. Rebecca's fabric is stunning, great idea to scan it. Gorgeous cards from Jacqui & Craftyfield's scrapbook page is beautiful.

Words and Pictures said...

Great techniques, clear explanations and fab finished projects - a great first night of #3UPing.
Alison x

Claire said...

All three are beautiful projects and all so very different from each other. A great start to the week! Claire xx

Darcy Marshall said...

Well done to all our 3 upsters this evening, gorgeous backgrounds. fabulous inspiration.

Cocofolies said...

This opening to the week of #3UP is very exciting!!! With three very different ways of talking about backgrounds!! All projects are very beautiful and interesting, thank you for the video and everyone's techniques. And I'm glad to recognize a friend among the creative guests! Coco xx

Julie Lee said...

Wow! This has really started the week of #3UP with a bang! I love Craftyfield's subtle paint technique and how she shared her painting journey with us; I am totally bowled over by Rebecca's lovely fabric with stunning stencilling and Jacqui's gorgeous, folksy card is perfect. Thank you so much all 3 for so much inspiration! xxx

craftimamma said...

Three wonderful and very different techniques showcasing just how versatile PaperArtsy products and stamps are. Well done everyone your projects are fabulous and your individual posts very interesting and clear. A great start to the week!

Lesley Xx

Rebecca said...

Well done girlies, great team, really pleased to be included.

Happy craftin

jojo79 said...

Some fantastic techniques in this post.

massofhair said...

Three fabulous background techniques, a great start to the 3UP week:-)

Lucy Edmondson said...

What amazing projects, wow! What a great way to start Christmas week! Thanks girls and thanks Leandra for organising!

Lucy x

ionabunny said...

Gorgeous projects ladies. Some great tips and techniques. Hugz

Margaret Iddon said...

Fabulous work ladies, love the fabric Rebecca

Hazel Agnew said...

Am a bit late to the party but have just studied all of the projects. Well done ladies, all different and all inspiring. Great tip from Craftyfield to mix paint on acetate to see if it works. Loved all of the finished pieces! Xx

Gabrielle said...

LOVE all three background ideas - you are so incredibly creative! Thank you for sharing... I am off to have a go myself!

Sarah B said...

such different techniques but all equally wonderful - well done ladies - can't wait to see the rest of the week xx

Gillian .... said...

Fab start to #3up week. Great techniques and inspiration.

Gillian x

craftytrog said...

Lots of wonderful techniques and inspiration! Thanks everyone! xxx

judith@poppy cottage said...

Great projects everyone, love the idea of scanning the fabric Rebecca to create another project. So creative. Beautiful scrapbook page, gorgeous colours. Finally the Christmas cards are fabulous, and all so different. Judith xx

Craftyfield said...

At last I'm able to discover what my teammates did! Not disappointed, they came up trumps. Exciting week ahead!

Artmadnana said...

Fabulous ideas for backgrounds. Only just catching up with everyone's projects and these blew me away. I love Rebecca's background and finished bag. How inspiring!