Experimenting with paper, inks, stamps, paints, fabrics, stitches, metal..........

Experimenting with paper, inks, stamps, paints, fabrics, stitches, metal..........

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Top Ten Craft Materials and Tools

A couple of times this week I have come across 'Top Ten' lists on different blogs.  As I have also been helping out at Sticky Tiger Supplies and spending time with all the crafty goodies around, I have decided to do my own top ten of my favourite/most used craft materials and tools.

1.  Distress Ink
I don't suppose it's a surprise to any of my crafty friends that this is number one.  A really versatile ink, it can be  used in so many ways .  Extra juicy which allows easy application to paper, card and photos, giving a vintage feel and not just with brown tones.  I use it on most projects in some way when rubberstamping.

2.  Glossy Accents
Designed to add a glossy finish to images, but I mostly use this as a glue.  Not only will it stick metal and  plastic, it sticks paper to paper really quickly.  Invaluable for making paper flowers.

3.  Ranger Heat Gun
A heat gun is essential for any crafter and as far as I am concerned buying any other brand is a waste of money.  Just buy one of these.  

4.  Crop O Dile
An amazing piece of kit.  Punch holes in practically anything;  mountboard, stampbord, chipboard, leather.....

5.  'Fields of Sky' rubber stamp
One of the first rubber stamps I ever bought and I still use it often.  It doesn't look like much at first glance, but has loads of uses.  Great for adding a touch of ink to projects, works really well with Distress Ink and water.  Mainly I use it with a  shimmery ink, such as Brilliance at Christmas when making my own papers for cards.

6.  Stickles Glitter Glue
The small bottles lasts for ages and less messy than the alternative.  Can be applied precisely or over a whole project for an all over glittery finish. 

 7.  A real bone folder
Unless you are a serious vegetarian, get yourself a real bone folder for cards and bookmaking.  The plastic ones are a poor imitation of the real thing, although bamboo ones are a little better. 

8.  Clear Embossing Enamel
If you only buy one embossing enamel, get clear.  I use pots and pots of this for triple embossing faux ceramic tiles, but it is also great for batik effects, resists and masking.

9.  Pinflair Glue Gel
When all the English 'celebrity' crafters started using Pinflair glue gel it took me a while to try it out.  As an alternative to silicon glue, it beats it hands down as there is no nasty odour.  I am finding I am using it more and more, especially for 3D projects.

10.  Perfect Pearls Mica Powder
If you want mica to create a shimmer on your projects, this is the best formulation.  With binders in the powder it can be used as a paint.   

This proved a lot more difficult than I thought it would!  There are so many great products on the market and there are lots more I couldn't craft without, but I couldn't quite squeeze them all into a top ten. Quickie glue pens, mountboard, alcohol inks, archival ink, Versamark, chalk ink.........

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Under the Sea ATC Swap

After meeting some ATC swappers a few weeks ago and discussing some of the swap groups that are on-line, I have joined a Facebook swap group ATC Swap UK.  There is a monthly swap with a theme, for July, and my first swap with this group, the theme is 'Under the Sea'. 

My artist trading cards have already gone off in the post and are on Facebook in an e-scrapbook layout, along with some of the other 'Under the Sea' cards received so far for this months swap by the organiser.

I used Distress Inks in a number of colours; pine needles, faded jeans, broken china, evergreen bough, iced spruce, frayed burlap, mustard seed and spiced marmalade.  The background colour was applied with foam, sprayed lightly with water and larger water drops were flicked over and dried with heat gun.  All images were stamped in permanent black ink and watercoloured using the Distress Inks. 

The effect of seaweed was stamped with parts of swirl, flourish and tree stamps in permanent black and blue and green Distress Inks.  Bubbles were then stamped in green and blue Distress Ink around the focal image.

'Under the Sea' was written in dark grey fine tipped marker around the seaweed and to finish, glitter, in a variety of colours was applied to the fish, shells, turtle, seahorse and mermaid.

I am really looking forward to what cards I will get sent in return, sometime in the next few weeks and can't wait for the next swap.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Bookmakng with Sarah Manton

I had a great time at Sarah Manton's bookmaking class at The Craft Studio a few weeks ago, making a fabric covered long stitch book with a front fastening.  

We had a lovely selection of fabrics, papers and twine to choose from and I was very pleased with the result! 

Monday, 9 July 2012

Sherwood Art Week 2012 ATC Swap

In June, for the first time in ages, I did an Artist Trading Card swap.  As part of Sherwood Art Week each artist produced sixteen cards to swap with the other artists involved in the swap and one card for an exhibit.  You could prepare a random selection of cards, a series or make them all the same.  I prepared a series of cards with a background of a vintage union flag, an image of a British landmark or something 'British' with an ultra thick embossing enamel (UTEE) embellishment, the colour mixed to replicate an old wax seal.  All elements were rubber stamped, using a selection of ink types and aged with Distress Inks.
Here are a few of my creations

In the swap I got some great ATCs, in return, including one made from glass.  Here are some of my favourites.  Lots of different mediums were used in everyone's mini pieces of art including watercolour, acrylic, printmaking, ceramics and even altered carrier bags.  The one I liked best was the 'NG5', with the image of Player's Navy Cut.  All of that series were based around images of Sherwood, and also included the actual post code and map of the specific area where the photo was taken.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Crafternoon Tea

I had a lovely afternoon last Saturday in the company of Victoria from Blue Jelly Stamping, doing a bit of stamping and using Stampin' Up's current range of quality scrapbook papers.

I covered a notebook with handstamped tea cup paper, scored and folded a fan using a beautiful script scrap book paper, made a teabag caddy and a tea bag gift wallet.  Here is Victoria's blog post with pictures of the samples she made and a few more details of the stamps, papers and embellishements used.

Monday, 2 July 2012

My Sherwood Art Week 2012

It was a very busy week, but I thoroughly enjoyed helping to organise Sherwood Art Week 2012.  The Art Marquee on 16th June was very busy from the minute Sherwood Festival opened.  With a backdrop of loud music from the stage, heavy rains and wind that almost brought the marquee down, we had demonstrations of Doll's House miniatures, Chainsaw sculpture and Papercutting and workshops in felting, dreamcatchers, metal key rings, giant collage, extreme drawing, and crochet to name a few.  Children and adults made and decorated leaves for the wishing tree at Sherwood Library and they were all hung up along with those made by the children visiting the library over the week.

After the art marquee I was off to the Artist Trading Card Swap at the Textile Workshop.  We made sixteen cards each and left with a great selection of artwork from glass, watercolour, acrylic, mixed media to ceramics made by the other artists attending.

Taster workshops were going on throughout the week, so I decided to attend a pottery workshop at The Place one evening.  I made a molded dish with a lace imprint with a blue glaze and I am looking forward to seeing the results once it has been fired.

The next morning I was teaching a paper flowers taster workshop to a lovely group of ladies, most of them I had never met before and although we had a few technical issues with the paper punches everyone went home with some beautiful examples of what is possible with a couple of sheets of paper.
Over the next few days I got to take in some of the exhibitions as well as art in the shop windows in Sherwood.  The exhibitions were at some of the local churches; St. Martin's, St.Johns and Sherwood Methodist Church as well as at The Place.  There was some amazing work on display from artists working with all sorts of different materials and art forms.

To top off the week there was a Craft Fair at Sherwood United Reformed Church with lots of stalls of ceramics, jewellery, artwork, plants, cream teas.....plenty to keep the 2,500+ visitors happy!