Thursday 6 April 2023

2023 Topic 4 : Mail Art {by Nikki Acton} with Jo Firth-Young stamps

Hi everyone
Nikki (@a2a.craft) here with you today.

My recent crafting pursuits have been quite bright and colourful, but I have been intending to rediscover a bit more of the vintage/distressed look. This project gave me the perfect opportunity. I decided to re-purpose an Amazon delivery cardboard envelope for this Mail Art topic - I hope you like it!

Along with our Mail Art topic, our theme is Texture - so I had fun building some textured layers to decorate my recycled envelope. I used crackle glaze, embossing powder and folded card to create the different effects you can see.

I had a good idea of the design / layout of the project I was planning, but wasn't sure how the layers would come together. I gathered my chosen stamp set, stencil, paints and inks plus the recycled envelope of course.

I kept my colour selection quite simple - blues and browns! I find it is too tempting to reach for too many colours sometimes. With a layered project, with different patterns or textures it is important to have something that brings them all together - in this case, the colours.

My starting point was to paint over the text / torn card on the envelope, so I reached for PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Mud Splat (FF61). As an opaque paint this covered most of it easily. Once dry I added a thin layer of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Crackle Glaze (FF22) using an old credit card.

Once dry I added PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Concrete (FF63). If you haven't used Crackle Glaze before - you need to add your top layer of paint quite quickly and generously as it reacts very quickly giving wonderful crackle!!

While I was waiting for the Crackle Glaze to dry I started making some quick backgrounds for my flowers. I wasn't sure how these would be used at this point - but I knew I would use them somewhere!

The first is paint brayered randomly and the letters stamp stamped in Ranger Distress Oxide - Faded Jeans. I used PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Venice Blue (FF133). The flowers and letter stamp are from my chosen set - JOFY stamp set 101 (JOFY101).

The second background used PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Summer Sky (FF150) and Ranger Distress Oxide - Broken China. This time I stencilled with the ink using PaperArtsy Stencil by JOFY (PS373)

Having completed my crackled envelope base layer and some backgrounds for my flowers I then needed to build some layers and my mini envelopes.

A simple but effective way to create a bit of grungy texture is to score some cardboard - to give the effect of wooden or painted panels. Having cut some card to size I dipped it into 2 colours of ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Walnut Stain and Ranger Distress Oxide - Faded Jeans. Once dry I highlighted the scored lines and edges with the brown ink.

Next I created my mini envelopes using an envelope scoreboard. These are about 2.25 x 1.5 inches or 5.7 x 4cm. Some more ink dips and edging around the folds and edges. I added a few stamped images from Stamp Set Mini 132 (MN132).

Now I needed to finish the Amazon envelope. I added more PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Mud Splat (FF61) to the edges and stencilled some PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Venice Blue (FF133) using PaperArtsy Stencil by JOFY (PS329).

Now to put it all together and see what was working and what needed a bit extra. I noticed I needed an added layer between the panels and the stencilled circles so just added a paint sponged layer - distressed at the edges with my scissors. You might also see the white embossing powder around the edge of the stencilled circles.

I added some brads and velcro to the envelopes so they open and close; somewhere to hide little notes maybe!
Finally I needed some words and what better than this quote from Alison Bomber stamp set 01 (EAB01).

I love that I have gone back to a bit of distressed vintage! I think the fun part of this project was building up the textured layers - not everything worked - there is one sitting on my desk waiting for a new home!



Stef said...

What a wonderful project Nikki! It incorporates lots of my favourite things; recycled materials, JOFY and Alison Bomber stamps, PaperArtsy paints and Distress inks. Lots of great inspiration for the mail art swap! Thanks, Stef x

Words and Pictures said...

Fantastic, Nikki... I love the colour palette (of course) and those tiny envelopes, and the words too (naturally!).
Alison x