Saturday, 16 February 2019

Spring Mini Quilt with Paste Paper effects

For quite some time I've been wanting to find a way to imitate traditional paste paper effects onto fabric. Well this week I got ahold of some Gelli printing tools and inspiration ran rampant!

First I got out my opaque fabric paints and one of my Gelli plates. I cut a bunch of small pieces of calico fabric (muslin) and got started.

I added some color to the surface of the Gelli plate, rolled it out with a rubber roller, and then used one of the Gelli printing tools to mark a design.

I then placed a piece of fabric over the top and gently patted with my hand so the color transferred to the surface of the fabric. You can also use a clean roller on the back of the fabric. The above picture is the result!

I then continued to play with color, tools, overprinting and got a nice batch of very pretty fabrics!!
I decided to use most of them to make a mini quilt.

First I drew a simple flower design and traced it onto 4 pieces of fusible web. I fused those to the backs of 4 of my fabric pieces and cut out and swapped around the fabrics.
I then fused these onto another piece of fabric.
I took more of my fabric pieces, paired them up, cut them into strips and wove them into new blocks.

Finally I stamped an image that I got from Rubber Dance Art Stamps and made that my central block. I used Opaque Navy fabric paint dabbed on with a foam brush.

So then I set all the blocks together into a mini quilt! Now I just need to sew it all.
Happy Spring! See you next month for some Easter inspired projects.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Figure in Colourcraft acrylic inks by Rebecca Yoxall

 Colourcraft acrylic inks are my new favourite medium! The colours blend beautifully and are great to work with. I've put together this piece today based on a lesson I did with a couple of my watercolour classes to show you how the inks can be used to blend subtle shades such as for skin tones and capturing a sense of light/sunlight just as easily as watercolour.

I've created this piece on a cotton watercolour paper and used only Colourcraft acrylic inks. 
I drew out the figure using an HB pencil and kept the line as light as possible.

I wanted to capture the appearance of strong sunlight hitting the front of the girls face and this gave me the opportunity to really play with the mixes of colour.
One of the first skin tone mixes is shown in the image below. (very middle of all the colours)
Yellow, ultramarine blue, dark |brown and scarlet mixed with water. 

I brushed this gently over the face and neck

The dark brown with a touch of scarlet gave me the first layer for the hair. I left some white parts of paper showing through to indicate at a bit of shape.

Whilst the hair was still wet I dropped some of the yellow ink around the head almost like a halo. This I smoothed in around the edges with water on my brush to soften any hard lines and make it more like a hazy glow.

The changes in the next image are very subtle. I have washed over the face and neck with another coat of that first mix under the hairline on the chest as well as starting to build the darker shades in the hair.

I worked by layering on small amounts at a time with the view to build up the colours gradually. The four inks mixed together here show a lovely soft purple grey that I used to indicate shadow on the neck of the figure.

The next image also shows how another layer of ink has further deepened the tones making for a richer more 3 dimensional form so that the first layer of ink can now only be seen at the front of the face where the figure would be bathed in light.

I continued then to work on the hair with the dark brown ink, paying attention to keep the lighter shades for shape.

An even darker mix show below by mixing the dark brown and ultramarine acrylic ink together to produce the final shading on the hair. I avoided using black at this stage so as not to over power the painting.

Brushing on this darker mix around the back of the head and bun of hair and also flicking out some small strands or wisps near the neck with a palette knife.

Once all of this was dry I began on the background. Green, brown and ultramarine dropped onto wet paper and carefully shaped around the edge of the figure. blending with water around the hair to keep the hazy glow and avaoid any hard lines of ink there.

I moved gradually around so that the washes were lighter towards the top of the paper with a little of the yellow ink added into the green.

 I waited a few minutes for this to dry then approached the last part of the figure. Diluted ultramarine blue brushed on quite minimally into the clothes.

I wanted to show even more shadow so went back to the ultramarine and dark brown mixture to paint the arm/sleeve and outline around the edge on the neck and chest to finish.

In this photo the left painting is in watercolour and the right in the Colourcraft acrylic inks as a comparison. I should mention they are very economical too if you are using them in this way with water. Great fun to play with and I'm really pleased with the results.

If you've used these acrylic inks we'd love to hear from you. Show us how you use them!
Have a great day.
See you soon

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Scrapbooking vintage photos by Karen

Do you have collections of old photos lying in drawers and boxes? I think many people do. When my husband inherited a huge number of family photos stretching back several generations most were loose and the only photo album was literally falling apart so I took on the massive project of organising and storing these in a new album using divided page protectors. I bought a pack of papers and have been using these to layer the photos on to but needed embellishments and wanted more variety in my backing cards: Brusho Crystal Colours to the rescue!

With my fairly neutral colour scheme and the vintage photos in mind, I chose my Brusho colours and cut 120 g/m² paper to the size needed. I sprayed the papers with water and sprinkled on the Brushos. I used Cobalt Blue and Moss Green, Grey and Light Brown.

I created extra papers by spraying a little more water and using a paper towel to blot off excess colour on to another paper, turning it to get a random, marbled effect.

The offcuts of paper were kept for die-cutting embellishments so I coloured these with brighter shades that would match my backing papers. I used Burnt Sienna and Sandstone, Gamboge and Sandstone and Turquoise. I also used a wash of Light Brown on another piece.

With everything dry and the die-cutting done, I had a good stack of papers and flower embellishments ready to add to my album, even more than shown above. I also included die-cut flowers from a left-over piece from <this project > using Aztec eco paints.

I added a freehand border to the background cards, some stamping, notes about the photos and Nuvo Drops to the flower centres before adding the photos with clear photo corners. Above is part way through the planning stage. Below is my finished layout, just before sliding the cards in to the protector, with some blue added to upper rows to draw everything together.

Some tips and points to remember when scrapbooking vintage photos:
  • Everythng needs to be kept dry: Damp damages photos. Keep the photos away from your work area while you are spraying water about! As long as the papers created with Brushos are kept dry, they are archival and photo friendly. 
  • Keep everything out of sunlight: The Brushos are lightfast, photos are not!
  • In a large album, let the colour scheme and other features evolve, avoiding sudden changes: I have plenty of flowers and other pieces of card left from this layout and my previous pages have the same brown cardstock I used in the middle row and the same die-cut flowers on them. Adding brusho coloured pieces to previous and following pages, will help this layout blend in with the others.
  • Avoid anything touching your photos that could do them harm: Always use acid-free papers, inks, glue and embellishments to avoid the photos deteriorating. 
  • I use clear photo corners to avoid the photos being stuck down permanently: The photos are protected but are also free to be scanned, examined and rehoused in a new album if necessary. If possible, I recommend scanning the originals as a back up in case they get damaged. Most scanners take A4 size so photos can be done in batches rather than individually: Much quicker and you can name the file with the year followed by who and where so they stay in chronological order.
  • Get as much information about the photos as possible and record it alongside them: Future generations will thank you!

I hope you are inspired to get those old photos out and show them some love!
Thanks for reading

Monday, 11 February 2019

Cute, layered gift tags with Ewelina

You know that awkward time when it turns out you have forgotten about someone's birthday or when you need to say a last minute 'thank you' but a bottle of wine is all you have and seems slightly impersonal to give it without a card? I'm the queen of such situations - I'm so rubbish at remembering these things!!! So I decided to be prepared this time and make some super cute, all-occasion gift tags. 

I wanted to stamp ombre designs on the canvas tags - that was the plan... the rest just kind of happened...

I used purple and Violet orchid Opaque fabric paints which I dabbed onto the stamp and then transferred it onto the tags.

I added metal studs to reinforce the holes in the tags... Now, it was time to start improvising.

I picked Little Birdie Crafts flowers and Chipboards and a variety of Kraft tags from Canvas Corp.
After assembling little compositions on the canvas tags (and making sure that the stamped design was still visible), I layered the tags over one another and... voila!

It might be cheating a bit but now I have some emergency gift tags.. you know, just in case...

See you next time!!!

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