Friday, 30 March 2012

Up, Up and Away

If you lived through the sixties you might remember Up, Up and Away by the 5th Dimension

If you lived in Australia during the 1970's you would certainly remember this version of Up, Up and Away with TAA ...

(doncha just lurv the chef ... a little extra hmmmmmm)

And the reason I am getting all nostalgic? Well, I made a little hot air balloon over the past couple of nights (when I was supposed to be doing Chemistry homework, but didn't have the right 'stuff' to do it, so found something else to keep me off the streets). It stands about 17cm (6 3/4") high and is just the cutest! The Pazzles cutting file was gifted to me by the wonderful Elizabeth Allison of Phlumpets Creative Cuts and I added the half rosettes and buttons. 

The small polkadot paper is Graphic 45's Rock-a-Bye Baby, the pink rosettes are cut from an old 7 Gypsies paper I can't find a link to, and I used Ranger Ink/Tim Holtz Peeled Paint stain on a C'oredinations Signature series Heritage Craft cardstock.

Now that I've tried out the file, I'm going to delve into my Graphic 45 papers and do a vintage, steampunky version this weekend.

I can also see this particular idea as the centrepiece for an exploding box ... oh the possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Creative Chemistry 101 - Day 7

Ooooh I do love a bit of embossing!

However, after watching Tim this morning I realised that the powder I bought last weekend was probably a poor choice. I bought 'fine detail' embossing powder which might be a bit fine for most applications. Never mind though - that's why I am taking this wonderful course of classes. I'm learning so much every day and every discovery is helping me to make better purchasing decisions when I walk into a craft shop these days :-)

So - let's look at today's tags.

  • Tag 16 - 'Nostalgic Batik' technique. Pretty, pretty, pretty. 
  • Tag 17 - 'Rusted Enamel' technique. This is very clever (and so easy to achieve once you know how) and really does look like rusted enamel.
  • Tag 18 - 'Distress Powder Resist' technique. Well, actually I've cheated a bit on this tag. This technique calls for Distress Embossing powder which I don't have (although that will be rectified this weekend LOL) so I used a white Versa Colour ink and clear embossing powder which stands out brilliantly when inked afterwards. 
So, I've caught up with my homework again, and now I'm off to add them to the gallery! Can't wait for tomorrow - I've never looked forward to homework quite so much in my whole life LOL!

Creative Chemistry 101 - Day 6

Initially I thought I probably wouldn't be able to complete the homework for this particular lesson.

I don't have any of these wonderful Distress Markers from Ranger Ink. And from all accounts it's not the easiest of tasks to get them anywhere (but particularly hard in Western Australia). So, I planned to watch Tim's videos and download the lesson and wait it out until Day 7.

However, after looking at what I had in my studio I decided I could certainly try out my normal water-based markers with the techniques explored in class. And, I'm quite chuffed with the results!

  • Tag 13 - 'Watercolour with Markers' techniques. 
  • Tag 14 - 'Blending with Markers' technique. 
  • Tag 15 - 'Stamping with Markers' technique. Love this one - will have to explore this technique further!
I will still buy some distress markers though - just as soon as I can find them in a craft shop here in Perth!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Creative Chemistry 101 - Day 5

Because it's the weekend I've also completed Day 5's homework.

Of course, nothing else has been done around the house (apart from the laundry which has to happen or we don't have work clothes for next week) - but then, the dirt isn't going anywhere so it will still be there when I finally decide to finish in my studio.

I really very much enjoyed Day 5's techniques. I had to have a couple of goes with 2 of them, but am very happy with the final results.

Here are my Day 5 tags.

I think they are extremely pretty, even though I say so myself LOL!
  • Tag 10 - 'Stained Kraft Resist' technique. I didn't have any Kraft Resist paper in my studio so when I was down at the craft shop I grabbed a stack. This was whilst I was talking to another shopper who I discovered was also taking Creative Chemistry 101, so didn't really look at what I was buying. When I got home I realised I had bought the Halloween Haunts stack. Darn it - I had really wanted the lovely stack Tim used in his video. However, I found some script on one of the pages and used it for the tag. It's a bit hard to see the stamping over the top in the photo, but it's a totally delicious technique which I will use over and over again.
  • Tag 11 - 'Stamping with Stains' technique. Love, love, love. Actually when you look at Tags 10 and 11 they look rather similar because of the script on the background. But up close and personal you realise they are two different techniques. The stains I bought weren't really dark enough, but remembering what Tim said about distress stain colour intensifing if you work over them several times, my 'Tattered Rose' and 'Weathered Wood' actually did finally stand out enough for the layering to work.
  • Tag 12 - 'Marbled Stains' technique. First time I tried this I made mud! Mainly because my stain colour choices were too light for this method. I then decide to use re-inkers, spritzed with water instead of stains. I'm rather pleased with the result although it probably doesn't look terribly 'marble-like'.
I think one of the best things about taking this class is that I am now not as afraid to experiment and try different ways of achieving a background with inks and stains. Learning about different ink properties has certainly helped me to experiment 'intelligently' and to understand why something didn't work and how to make it work next time. Thanks Tim!

Creative Chemistry 101 - Day 4

Had to go to the craft shop again yesterday to stock up on extra 'stuff' in order to finish my homework for Days 4 and 5.

Now, I have to say at the outset here that this isn't really much of a hardship for me to go shopping at a craft shop. Having said that though, I think the most difficult part of being quite new to the stamping world is that I needed to buy lots of things, and had to stop myself from buying every one of the various inks and stamps and pads in the Ranger Ink and Stampers Anomymous range - because it's ALL SO DAMN WONDERFUL!

So I tried my hardest to be conservative, and bought basic colours in the various types of inks in order to complete the class homework. I got it mostly right, but chose stains that perhaps weren't really the right colours. But I guess that is what participating in a class is all about - learn from your mistakes and be pleased when a choice which you thought wrong in the beginning works out anyway once you've done a bit of experimenting!

OK so here are my three technique tags from Day 4's class.

  • Tag 7 - 'Watercolouring with Re-inkers' - Excellent fun, but time consuming.
  • Tag 8 - 'Layered Misting' - This is not my favourite technique. It actually looks better in this photo than in real life. Because it's a technique tag I haven't embellished, but if I was doing a tag like this again, I'd be stamping over the top of it for sure!
  • Tag 9 - 'Custom Stamp Pad' - Oh this is great fun! Will be doing more of these in future!
I had occasion to make a friend a birthday card yesterday - so I decided to put my newly acquired knowledge to the test. It turned out really well (and the recipient was mightly impressed). Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of it before I took it to the birthday boy last night. Duh!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Creative Chemistry 101 - Day 3

And so I beavered on into the night with Day 3's homework.

Day 3 was all about archival ink (pigment) and alcohol ink. These techniques were a little more challenging for me. But I'm still happy with the results.

I do find glossy paper hard to stamp on with big, beautiful, red rubber mounted onto wood stamps. I discovered that stamps inked up with archival ink have a habit of sliding around on glossy paper if you let them. So I gave my stamps a good talking to, and concentrated hard, and I think I have a much better 'stamping' technique now than when I started out last night!

So ... here are my three homework tags for Day 3.

  • Tag 4 - 'Alcohol Ink Agates' technique. I had to have a couple of goes to get this right. And the camera's flash flared out the top left hand corner. And the archival inked stamp at the bottom slipped a bit during application ... but all in all I do like how this one turned out.
  • Tag 5 - 'Reflections Stamping' technique. Probably not my most favourite technique. I do totally love how the embossing worked, and how the archival inks worked on this tag. Don't really like how the archival ink reacted but then, I guess you can't always love every single technique in a class!
  • Tag 6 - 'Archival Resist' technique. OK so this looks totally different to the wonderful 'vintage' look sample Tim did in class. But I really, really do like this technique and how this particular tag turned out.
I cannot work out how Tim does not get his hands totally covered in ink in his demo videos. (I guess that's why he is the Master and I am the Novice!) And how his work area remains so tidy and clean. I am finally remembering to put the lids back on my stamp pads, and to wipe my stamps after I use them. However, this is how my studio desk looked after I had finished my homework last night.

And my hands were covered in black archival ink. I'm thinking perhaps rubber gloves might be a good idea this evening!

Creative Chemistry 101 - Day 2

Let The Fun Begin!

I finally managed to get down to my favourite craft store on Wednesday afternoon and picked up lots of distress and alcohol inks and some stamps. I wasn't overly thrilled with the selection of stamps - particularly after watching Tim's video which included a reveal of the 'Stamp Wall' in his studio. Oh, that is one amazing wall! However, I now know what kinds of stamps to look out for in future!

So, yesterday evening I sat down to complete both Day 2 and Day 3's homework.

Day Two's Tim Lesson was all about how to create some amazing effects with water-based dye inks. All of the techniques we learn on this course can be archived on tags - such a clever idea for quick referencing - so without further ado I reveal my three homework tags for Day 2!

  • Tag 1 - 'Blended Spritz and Flick' technique onto manila cardstock
  • Tag 2 - 'Brushless Watercolour' technique onto watercolour paper (love how this turned out)
  • Tag 3 - 'Wrinkle Free Distress' technique onto manila cardstock (although, out of the three tags this was the one that 'wrinkled' the most LOL)
I love how these turned out. Being so new to inks and stamping in general, I thoroughly enjoyed learning the processes involved, and feel confident I can use them on future projects.

I think I'll put metal eyelets on each of the tags once I have finished the set. That way I can put the whole lot on a ring of some sort to hang in my studio as a wonderful reference tool down the track a bit.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Setting Up A New Blog

OK, so I might be completely mad, but I decided that because I am embarking on this amazing papercraft journey of mine I needed a new blog to keep the records straight.

I'm also taking a couple of wonderful new on-line courses at the moment - May Flaum's  A Curious Scrapbooker's Field Guide' and the Master himself - Mr Tim Holtz's  Creative Chemistry 101 - and I needed somewhere to upload my homework so I could link it to their 'homework galleries'.

I'm not sure if you can still sign up for these classes ... but if, like me, you want some amazing inspiration - both these teachers and their classes are awesome - so it's worth enquiring whether you can still join!

Having said all that, I'm actually rather behind on my homework BECAUSE I've been getting this blog set up AND because I don't have all the 'stuff' I need to do my homework.

Being so new to this wonder-world I have discovered that I really do need to go shopping to amp up my meager supply of all things inky and stampy ... not really a bad situation to be in ... just need to find the time to make it happen. I'm hoping tomorrow will dawn bright and shiny and less busy than it is today so I can go stock up my studio with lots of new things!

Meanwhile I will continue to tinker with this new blog site until I get it 'just right'.

Oh, and a shout-out here to the wonderful Karen of The Graphics Fairy fame - that's where I found the wonderful circus girl image for my header. Karen's blog site is a wonderful resource for all sorts of amazing images. Thanks so much Karen.