Friday 30 May 2014

what if this isn't me?

I've been doing a lot of 'rummaging around' on the internet recently, watching you tube videos, visiting lots of blogs, and I kept seeing clouds!  

So I decided to use Janet's wonderful '2 nuages' for this week's project for Stampotique.

I started with a glassine envelope and decided I'd like a dark blue tag tucked inside to give the impression of a blue sky.

I LoVe AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh stories and knew I'd find a cloud quote there as Pooh pretends to be a cloud in an attempt to get some honey from up a tree.  If you don't know the story I can highly recommend it; you can read it here, although the very best way (in my opinion) is to listen to the wonderful Alan Bennett read it to you.  I have it on cassette so am very pleased to discover it's now available on itunes!!

But whilst googling the quote I came across another one from a different Pooh bear story which just made me smile, and since I have a rabbit stamp...!

Stampotique Stamps used:

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday 27 May 2014

do you clean your stencils?

Don't you just love to get parcels?  This stunning stamp, Butterfly Pattern by Stampendous, was amongst many goodies in my parcel this morning.

As soon as I saw it on The Stampman's website I knew it was one of those 'must have' stamps!!  It looks like it would sit well in the corner of a journal page or card, and it's full of tiny patterns that can be used in numerous ways.

The background is a mop up page from some more 'creative palette' play this morning.  I find I often like these papers more than my intended piece!  Amongst the stamps (yes, there were more!!) Jill had included some stencils for me to borrow.  She was a little concerned that she hadn't had time to clean them ..

... but I have to say, they look right at home!! (Mine are the ones on the left, Jill's the three on the right).

The colour in the photo above really isn't true but hopefully you get the idea.  It's one of the tags that I mentioned was waiting to be finished in my last but one post and has a 'creative palette' monoprinted background.  It uses two more of my very favourite new stamps, a gorgeous, gorgeous text stamp from the Stampendous stack art set 'Royal Heart Stack' and the beautiful 'cow parsley' by Jane Gill for Woodware.  And don't you just love 'found poetry'?

There are a couple more sneak peeks of my preparations for this weekend's Great British Craft Festival over on The StampMan blog if you'd like to look.  Please come and say hi if you are visiting the show.  It's at Bolton Arena, Horwich, BL6 6LB and starts both days at 10am.  You'll find us on stand 34A, opposite the seating area which I understand has a handy cafe pod!! 

Monday 26 May 2014

inspired by ... Ann Wood

Tim Holtz recently posted an image of an owl he asked Tammy Tutterow to make after seeing a number of images on pinterest.  [If you haven't seen it I encourage you to follow either of the previous links, it's worth it!!]  Elements of it reminded me of some I've seen elsewhere but it took me a few days to remember it was Ann Wood's owls that I'd seen images of.

Whilst visiting her blog I discovered that she had a free template for a boat.  Ann's boats are amazing (all her work is to be honest!); her latest one is made from "edwardian gowns and petticoats", how fabulous is that!!  [I also remembered this was where Sue found the template for her wonderful teacups!]

So I got making!!  This is a Mediterranean inspired boat apparently, and Ann's instructions are really easy to follow.  You can find them here.

I was lazy and used washi tape rather than paper mache for the first layer of my boat as I already had it out to tape the cardboard together.  I then coated it decopatch glue (similar to mod podge) after a second layer of washi tape inside.  For the outside of the boat I stamped Journey Collage onto tissue paper then layered it on the boat with the decopatch glue.  


I stamped Life onto some tissue paper and attached it to a button before layering it with a crocheted cotton flower I made a couple of years back (they live in a jar for such a circumstance as this!!)

 Stitching the sail was a lot of fun.  I used scraps of fabric and some hand stitching to add interest.

This boat is a gift for my sister and is currently hanging in the window awaiting her visit.  I think I may need to make another one for me though!!

Sunday 25 May 2014

the Stampendous Creative Palette

It turns out that it's just over a year ago that I got my gelli plate after a wonderful play date with my talented friend Sue Roddis.  I can't say I played with it much after that until the also very talented Tracey Dutton introduced me to using adirondack ink pads with it.  Since then I've loved using it, it just makes me happy ...

... but only with my ink pads, I have studiously avoided paint!!  Until this week ........ after Jill, from The Stampman, asked if I would demo for her at The Great British Craft Festival - North.  In the fabulous package of goodies she sent me was a Creative Palette by Stampendous so I settled down for a few days playing.

Out of curiosity, the first thing I did was compare the gelli plate and the creative palette.  They are both monoprinting plates but where the gelli plate mimics a thick gelatin plate the creative palette is much thinner and firmer.  I was happy to discover that I could use my ink pads on the creative palette (I just love Jane Gill's stamps for Woodware, and that clear scraps stencil is just gorgeous!!)


... but my attempts with paint were hopeless (see my sketchbook above! And just to point out that this was down to me and not the creative palette or the gelli plate!!!).  However, I was determined not to be beaten so I watched the Stampendous youtube video tutorials and googled creative palette and gelli plate, but although I was getting there, I was still adding ink to make the pieces work, and I didn't feel that monoprinting with paint was really giving me anything different to what I could achieve more easily just using paints and a stencil!!

Back to the internet and this time I decided to really, really look hard at the projects I liked and see what it was that drew me to them.  I filled my sketchbook with images and added notes alongside and slowly but surely I began to like what I was producing.

When I teach workshops I always say to people, "use your favourite colours, the colours you are most comfortable with, as this is a new technique and it just makes it easier to learn one new thing at a time".   I discovered that I needed to tell myself that with paints and my monoprinting plate.

I also discovered, amongst other things, that I work best with just one colour on the plate (although I love it when others sneak in from not cleaning my stencil!!) and that, just like with my journaling techniques, the mop up page is usually the nicest!!

I learnt a lot on my mission to love using paint with a monoprinting plate ...  and I feel that I achieved my aim!  My favourite thing about it is the texture it produces on the paper - monoprinting using paint definitely feels different to regular painted backgrounds!  

I now have a heap of paper and tags, some of which I've begun to work into with ink and stamping ...

... and I'm on my way to turning some of them into cards.

I also have a list of more things I'd like to try with my monoprinting plate.  I love Jane Davies' work and after being inspired by her pebble-shaped, hand-cut stencils, I tried it with one of my favourite shapes - hydrangea petals

I have since discovered that Stampendous now do a die cut set to match their hydrangea stamps so I'm eagerly awaiting it in the post in order to further play with this idea on a smaller scale!

The Great British Craft Festival North is next Saturday and Sunday 31st May and 1st June 2014.  It starts at 10am on both days and is at the Bolton Arena (good job I checked, would have headed for the Reebok lol)!!  Tickets are available on the door.

Friday 23 May 2014


I love CAS cards but rarely make them these days as it involves having clean hands and I end up forgetting and getting smudgy inky marks on the card!  But that's what little birds are for right?!!

I suddenly remembered the other day that I'd not made a congratulations card for a friend who had a beautiful baby girl so I got out what I'd call 'bunting' and my sewing machine and set to work.

I stamped 'baby girl' using a variety of stamps before free machining 'hello' above it.

Stampotique Stamps Used:

Friday 16 May 2014

luxuriant moustaches

I mentioned in my last Stampotique post that I was itching to colour in these cheeky monsters, so that's exactly what I did for this week's project.

I love the idea of boring beige coloured monsters sprouting (or maybe they dye them, maybe it's all a ruse?!!!) fantastically coloured moustaches.  The inspiration for the background came from a paper gift bag ...

.. so I started by pasting down strips of brown paper then added some simple pencil lines.

I used watercolour paints to add colour to my monsters ...

... and created some coloured strips of watercolour paper whilst I had the paints out.

After colouring my monsters and cutting them out, I stamped them a number of times so I could cut out the moustaches.

There was a lot of fussy cutting involved with this page, but then, that's ideal when you've got your feet up post op!!

Stampotique Stamps used:

"French Journal Page?!!!!!" I hear you ask?  Yes, it's on there, can you spot it?

Tuesday 13 May 2014

a handful of cards

I've been playing with some new Lavinia Stamps and my gelli plate ... I really love using the Adirondack inks with the gelli plate.  

I rarely make cards but had decided to enter this month's Lavinia Stamps challenge which was 'birthday girl' so ended up making a couple.

I know I've said it before but I love adding splashes of water to the inks, and also painting in stamped areas with the inks or water.

Despite having made a couple of cards I still needed to make another one as my niece was one at the weekend.  I was pleased with this quick card using a Mabel Lucie Attwell image from the Artistic Stamper :)

Monday 12 May 2014

lavinia stamps challenge #5

It's my husband's cousin's fiftieth birthday on Saturday so he asked me to make a card and, although I've made a couple of others (which I'll share soon), I decided to enter this one into this month's Lavinia Stamps challenge as this really is a card for a 'birthday girl'.

I added some more layers to a gelli printed piece of card then cut the numerals '5' and '0' from it.  I knew I wanted to add some flowers but it took me ages to work out an effective background.  This one is adirondack stream sponged over white card, french verse 2 stamped in stream, then splashes of water to give texture.  This was my third attempt at a background; I recycled one of the others into two tags...

..I decided to be a bit brave and use some different coloured inks to stamp the flowers.  This proved a bit busy for the background of my 50th birthday card but worked perfectly with some fairy silhouettes on my tags.

I particularly liked using some of my newest Lavinia stamps, the zen blossoms, around the edge of the tags.

Friday 9 May 2014

smitten moustache monsters

I just LoVe Kira Nichols' smitten moustache monsters so decided to have a play around with them in one of my journals.  They have so much potential though that I know I'll be using them again!! [I so want to colour in their moustaches but decided this page had enough colour!!]

I appear to have a good collection of love-themed stampotique stamps!  After spraying my page with Dylusions inks, and splashing some water on them and dabbing it off, I stamped 'metal love' three times, thinking of the Beatles song 'all you need is love'!  I then repeatedly stamped the heart from the top of 'Oh...Tree' because I couldn't find my 'Daniel's hearts' stamp ...

... then found it and went to town with looooooooooooooads more hearts!!  I had a good time colouring some of them in with my watercolour pencils.

The smitten moustache monsters have been stamped on top of the words and then I stamped them onto paper too and cut them out - it's just a good way of keeping the little details that are impossible to cut out (like the curly ends of moustaches!!)

For those of you in the UK, the new release stampotique stamps are on their way and you can pre-order smitten moustache monsters, amongst others, at The Stamp Attic.

Stampotique Stamps Used:


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