Monday 11 December 2023

2023 Topic 12: Designer Focus: JoFY {by Keren Baker}

Hi everyone, it's Keren with you today continuing with our focus on the fabulous JOFY range. 

I have loved Jo's style for many years now, and she really excels with Christmas themed stamps (in my humble opinion!).
I've had very little time to be creative in the past 6 months and I've really missed it. So when thinking about a Christmas theme I wanted to go simple - we're time poor at this time of year, right?! So I ended up with 5 ways with one stamp set.

The eagle eyed amongst you will have counted 4. It was just easier to photograph them that way!!

I love techniques, but when time is short, we want interest on our projects without too much effort. I also decided to use different colouring mediums rather than paint. I couldn't do without something extra, so added in Grunge Paste to help with texture. I chose the JOFY130 set as I'm a little obsessed with mushrooms - and love that there are some festive images using fungi !

How to start? It was the colour selection that came first. Had to be red- but mushrooms are available in different colours so I added in green and teal. The stars are often gold so that sorted my colour combo without too much effort. Having challenged myself a couple of times to do colours out of my 'norm', I thought I'd head towards my favourite bright colours.

I have to admit that I used to see stamping platforms as cheating, but I've stopped being snobby about them as they come in so useful for many techniques. I knew I'd need it for stamping on shrink plastic later, so used it to get perfect images onto cardstock ready for colouring.

Some people love alcohol marker colouring and I'm definitely one of them. Like many things, it's all about practice and don't forget to stamp with an alcohol friendly ink-pad like Memento ink. Here's the JOFY130 stamp set that I used.

To make my mini cards have more depth, I wanted to add some overlays and flaps. The first one was using some thin acetate and Grunge Paste. 

I combined this with a super versatile stencil PS113 (from Sara Naumann).

Grunge Paste dries pretty quickly. I'd already folded the acetate before adding Grunge Paste and simply added a couple of glue dots to the reverse to secure the overlay to the coloured panel.

I love a good white base, but kraft coloured cardstock was a good contrast and softened the completed project.

At this point, I hadn't decided exactly how many projects I was creating, but loved the overlay idea and decided to try a partial one on the next project but not using a transparent layer.

With the Grunge Paste still handy and some glitter (it's Christmas- we're surely allowed glitter!)....I used the 'wish' on the stencil. I'd already coloured in the same image using a different colour scheme but loved the idea of playing with opacity. You can see below how wet the Grunge Paste is initially and adding glitter is easy as it naturally adheres to the paste as it dries.

The challenge with acetate and Duralar Matt is deciding how to anchor them. With the acetate, I simply added tiny dots of glue behind the Grunge Paste 'snow' and pressed them well until dry. With this project, I decided to sew it with a matching coloured thread which adds to the design.

Still focussing on the same image, I had a need for some Christmassy jewellery for a work meal and I thought this would be perfect. Colouring on Shrink Plastic can be a challenge. You need an ink that will dry on the surface so you're looking at StazOn ideally, but that ink will react with alcohol markers and because it's frosted, if you add Alcohol markers to the reverse, it's not easy to see the colours, so I opted for pencil on the surface that I'd stamped on. I've not used Prismacolors with Shrink plastic before, but knew that the colours would intensify once shrunk.

The other thing to keep in mind is that you need to be careful when adding layers of pencils. Pencils like Prismacolors need gradual layering- but they have a tendency to start lifting off if you put too many layers on (when using Shrink plastic), so there's a bit of a learning process. Here's a look at the difference of sizing once shrunk! Don't forget to punch holes before shrinking if you need them connecting to something else. Aren't those intensified colours amazing!

They make an easy gift with a little extra bead and then stamping in a lighter colour onto a cardstock panel and attaching to another cardstock layer. 

I had in my head '5 ways' now, so I just needed two more projects...

To be fair, there weren't many twists and turns- the hardest bit was working out how to sew perfectly mitred corners on my serviettes! The long image is useful for so many things- I nearly made a tag with it, but I thought they'd make sweet serviette holders for your Christmas table (only another 10 to make now!!).

For the next and last project, I wanted to use the other image on the stamp set and also from the stencil. I had visions of hanging the baubles from the twiggy stencil image, partly because that's what I'm doing in my house. I currently have a large piece of dead branch hanging from my ceiling drying out and waiting to have baubles hung from it!!

I added Grunge Paste through the stencil onto Smoothy Cardstock and then once dry, I replaced the stencil back over the paste and coloured through it using alcohol markers. It takes alcohol ink really well. I trimmed out the individual baubles and added them to the base card. I'd coloured through the stencil using alcohol ink to create the snow using blue alcohol. It felt too one dimensional so I added some Nuvo drops over the tops which seemed to do the job.

You can also see the cracked glitter glue. Just manipulate your cardstock once the glitter glue is dried and you'll get something like the cracking below!

I had pretty much done the detailing as I went along- you can see lots of white gel pen details in the photo below. I wanted to add a different coloured card base to the hanging baubles card as it seemed a little stark with just the kraft coloured cardstock.

Sometimes creating feels like a slog. A fun tough challenge, but a slog nonetheless. This was different. I had to stop myself making more which is lovely when that happens. After a bit of a creative hiatus it felt frustrating to stop, but I know that I'll be able to come back to this set and get even more ideas from it.

As this is the last post from me this year, I've left a photo below with 'wish' on it. My wish for you is that you'll manage through the holidays. I know this period of time can be really hard for many and with so many tough things happening in the world right now, I hope that you can find people nearby who will love and support you throughout whatever is going on for you.
Wishing a Happy Christmas to you all.

Keren xx


craftytrog said...

Beautiful cards Keren, love those cute earrings!

Mary in Oregon said...

Your usage of the mushroom stampset is bright and cheerful.
I hope your recipient of the earrings was pleased - or were those for you? A spirited set of earrings regardless. I also liked your texture with the paste on WISH! I am a shut-in this weekend with snow and freezing rain keeping all of us off the roads this weekend in Oregon. A good time to be inspired with your artwork! Merci!