Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Altered Art Hanging by Chris W

I’ve had his hanging art in mind for some months now but not got around to buying the screw eyelets to join the canvasses until last week. Each letter is cut from an old Sizzix alphabet die set which I’ve then gilded using variegated gilding flakes.
Each canvas has been prepped with an acrylic/water wash then stained with Tim Holtz distress ink stains.
Each canvas is framed using spellbinders square scalloped dies to cut the frame from thin craft metal. A metal embossing tool was used to create the texture on the frames.
I just used the word ART but it could spell ‘MUM’, ‘FRIEND’ or anything you wanted to. Why not have a go at making your own version, it really is simple to make. Personalise it and give it as a very special gift to someone dear to you.

Level of difficulty:     Intermediate
3 mini canvasses (7cm x 7cm)
10 screw eyelets
5 equal lengths of plug chain with joiners
Shadow letters ART
Variegated gilding flakes (or metallic leaf sheets)
Ranger green acrylic paint, ‘Pesto’ or equivalent
Tim Holtz distress ink stain, ‘Old paper’
Tim Holtz distress ink stain, ‘Dried marigold’
Viva Inka-gold metallic paint or equivalent
Assorted embellishments and charms
Craftmetal (whatever colour coordinates with your gilding flakes/leaves)
Gilding glue (eg Flitter glu or equivalent)
Claudine Hellmuth Studio matte glue
Double sided sticky tape
Spellbinder’s Lacey squares Nestabilities set (or similar)
Spellbinder’s die cutting machine (or equivalent)
Cutting mat
Inking sheet
Decorative metal embossing wheel or a thin embossing tool
Scalpel or craft knife
Woodworking awl (to start screw holes)
Clean dish washing sponge (hard one side, soft the other)
Thick watercolour brush
A dry rag
Prep the letters:
The letters and shadows can be cut from a die set, a digital cutter such as the Cricut Expression or just bought as a pack either way the shadows need to be black. Place the shadows to one side and carefully apply gilding glue to the letter tops (using tweezers helps). Follow the instructions on the glue regarding when to apply the gilding flakes or metal leaf. Cover the letters and leave to cure. When the appropriate time has passed take the dish washing sponge and gently rub the hard side of the sponge across the flakes/leaf to remove the excess. Brush away the debris from the letters and your work area using the soft side. (You may need a damp tissue to remove the finer particles.) Buff the letters gently with a soft tissue before gluing the letter tops to their shadow bases.
Prep your canvasses:
Before you start, compare the canvasses against each other, it’s not uncommon for them to vary a few millimetres. Choose the sides that vary the least to be the top and bottoms so that they will line up best when hung.
Measure 2cm in each side of two canvasses and just the top of the third. Using the awl start the hold for the eyelets and then screw them all in so you make sure they are all done before decorating them. Lay them out under each other to be sure.
Remove the eyelets and set aside. Make a wash for the canvasses of about 50:50 paint to water. (Make a small amount to try on a piece of scrap paper first because different paints have differing consistencies and levels of opacity.) Paint the fronts and all sides of the canvasses and leave to dry. The paint will be patchy and probably have ‘paint lines’ and that is exactly what you want. When dry, dab the ‘old paper’ distress stain in places, make it blotchy and then do the same with the ‘Dried marigold’ stain so that the original wash is now just part of the colour base. Leave to  dry. The last application is that of metallic paint around bits of the side edges of the canvasses. I used a mixture of copper and gold but you can use what you have/want.
Take your spellbinders dies and craft metal and cut out three frames, one for each of the canvasses. Using your embossing wheel/tool add some texture to the inner part of the frame leaving the ‘frill’ untouched.
Bringing it all together:
Glue your frames onto the canvasses and then glue the letters into the centres. Take your treasures (charms and embellishments) and position them around the canvasses. Play with the layouts until you’re happy with them all then glue them all into place. (If you have used any heavy embellishment(s) then I would leave the canvasses overnight to ensure the items are fully secure before finishing.)
Carefully screw all the eyelets back into the holes you’ve already made. Thread the plug chains through the loops and fasten them. Your hanging art should now be complete.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Gilded Leaf & Bird Card by Chris W

I haven’t played with my gilding flakes or metal leaf for absolutely ages so thought I would set myself the goal of a card and an altered art piece. I love the look of variegated flakes on black card so decided that is what I would use this time around.
I used some Hero Art leaf stamps to stamp down the side of the base mat but any will do the job.
The branches are stamped using a Paper Artsy set (HP10008) and the bird from a Tim Holtz Movers and Shapers die. It is a very simple card and ideal for a guy. This one is for my brother-in-law’s birthday.

Level of difficulty:     Easy
A 127mm x 178mm (5” x 7”) pre-scored scalloped card
A 115mm x 165mm mirriboard mat
A 105mm x 155mm black card mat
A 60mm x 150mm mirriboard mat
A 55mm x 145mm black card mat
Variegated gildingflakes (or metallic leaf sheets)
VivaInka-gold metallic paint or equivalent
Baker’s twine
1 black micro craft gem
Printed or stamped metallic sentiment
Small decoupage pads
Gilding glue (eg Flitter glu or equivalent)
Double sided sticky tape
TimHoltz Movers and shapers mini bird die (or equivalent)
SizzixMovers and shapers base tray
Sizzixdie cutting machine (or equivalent)
Leaf stamps
Twigs stamp (or equivalent eg reeds, bullrushes, wheat etc)
Cutting mat
Inking sheet
Scalpel or craft knife

Prep the mats:
Lay the mats out as they will appear on your card so that you can guage how far inset to stamp your leaves down the side of the bottom black mat. Remove the top two (left side) mats and replace with a piece of scrap paper so you know where the demarcation point is. Take your leaf stamps and (following the instructions that came with your gilding flakes/leaves) stamp glue down the right side of the base black mat and put to one side. Take your twigs stamp and repeat the procedure onto the top black mat. Now apply the gilding flakes/leaves to the glued areas then leave to cure. When ready, stick each card mat to its corresponding mirriboard base. Tie some baker’s twine around the base of the top/side mats.
Prep your bird:
Take your die and cut out and paint your bird with metallic paint (or stamp and cut out your bird). Place the micro gem where the eye would be. (If you don’t have craft gems just use a fine nib pen.) Attach the bird to the top/side mat over the twine using mini decoupage pads.
Bringing it all together:
Stick the bottom set of mats to the card base and then mount and stick the top left mats in place. Add the sentiment and the card front is done. Add an insert of your choice to complete.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Airmail Tableau by Chris W

With the arrival of the latest Tim Holtz releases who can resist them? Not me! I found a lovely piece of backing paper in my treasure chest with warm oranges and greens and decided to use it for my airmail tableau. The key components are the new Tim Holtz (On the edge) Torn notepad die, the AirmailTexture fade, Minifilmstrip decorative strip die and the MarianneCreatables butterfly die.

You can see that I’ve highlighted some of the texture fade elements with gold foil to add something extra to the texture. This could as easily be glitter or metallic paint.
The shopping list element makes use of both sides of the Torn notepad die with the butterfly to add colour and substance.
The Torn notepad die is used again for the faux letter with the mini film strip adding a border and contrast colour to the left.

Each one of these dies could be made into the central feature of a card on its own but it is so much more fun when you can combine the different elements together. Choose whatever colour theme and backing paper you want and have a go yourself to see just how easy it is to make. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Love Bag by Chris W

Buying dies that can only be used for one particular occasion is a luxury I can't afford. Whilst you might look at some of the dies I've used to make this bag and think "they're just for Valentine's day" hopefully this will give you ideas of how else they can be used. This bag was created for an anniversary gift and although I've used silhouettes they could have easily been little portrait photo's of the couple concerned if I'd have had some. How about using baby orientated dies instead of the silhouettes for a special gift for that new born baby your friend just delivered? There are so many ways of ringing the changes with this one. I hope you like it. Follow the link below for detailed instructions:

Detailed Instructions

Level of difficulty: Easy

1 sheet 12 x 12 thick patterned paper ( or thin card)
Piece of thin coordinating coloured card 7.5cm x 11cm
Scraps of thin black card (for silhouettes and heat base)
Scraps of thin coordinating card (for word and wings)
Scrap of mirriboard for crown (doesn't have to be gold)
A piece of thin white or cream lace 30cm in length
A piece of ribbon (you choose the colour)
A small safety pin (or a Tim Holtz Trinket Pin - TH92720)
A short length of fine jewelry chain
A heart charm
2 jump rings
5 craft gems (for the crown)
Double sided tape
Claudine Hellmuth Studio matte glue (or equivalent)
Tim Holtz distress ink - Brushed corduroy
Tim Holtz. Distress ink - Fired brick
Ranger Rock candy clear crackle medium
Viva Inka-gold gold metallic paint or a gold leafing pen

Sizzix Big Shot Pro die cutting machine*
Sizzix Big Pro Mini grocery bag die - 657673*
Sizzix Movers & shapers base tray - 657007
Tim Holtz Movers & shapers Love word die - 657077
Tim Holtz Movers & shapers Mini silhouettes dies - 658254
Tim Holtz Bigz Heart wings die - 656638
Embossing folder (for mat - you choose the pattern)
Tim Holtz or Ranger Blending Tool and sponges
2 pairs of long nose pliers (for jewelry making or wire working)
Cutting mat
Inking sheet

* If you don't have the Sizzix Big Shot Pro then you can use a small brown or white plain gift bag and stamp over it then colour it.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Cupid by Gabrielle


The new set of Tim Holtz Valentine Blueprints stamps made me curious as to how the cupid would match with the Love Struck Movers and Shapers dies he released last year. This simple card is the result of that curiosity!

I stamped Cupid in Jet Black Archival Ink onto a piece of square white card and distressed the edges with a paper distresser. I then added Gathered Twigs Distress Ink over the edges, and quite far into the image. I then clapped a little water over the top (as I did here) to age the colour and give it a little interest. I die cut the cupid from kraft card and then added more Gathered Twigs Distress Ink over the edges before adhering him to the card. The image doesn’t quite match up so placing it doesn’t matter too much! I then sprayed a fine mist of Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mists in the air and, well, wafted the card through it so it picked up a shimmer without being too concentrated!

As finishing touches I added a Blossom Bucket heart and some more Gathered Twigs Distress Ink over the edges of the backing card.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Romance Is In The Air by Gabrielle

Romance is in the air!

For those in the UK under a blanket of snow it might be hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is round the corner! Tim Holtz has released some fabulous stamps called Valentine Blueprints which fit Valentine’s Day perfectly (or indeed lots of other occasions like an anniversary!)

I chose to make a chunky ATC to showcase all of the stamps. An ATC (Artist Trading Card) is often used as a swop so you can make a batch of them and then give them to other crafters in return for one of theirs. If you are not familiar with an ATC the dimensions are 3.5" x 2.5" but you could cheat like I usually do and use a die! A chunky ATC is a 3 dimensional ATC often made of wood. The dimensions are 2.5" x 3.5" and are 1.5" thick. I am lucky to have an obliging dad with a saw but I am sure your local hardware store will chop up a little wood for you if 7you aren’t able to chop them yourself.

I painted the block with PaperArtsy’s Snowflake paint and then sanded it when it was dry. I rubbed Gathered Twigs Distress Ink over the edges to give a worn look. The images were all stamped using Jet Black Archival Ink onto white card and cut out with the sentiment word cut separately. I stamped the cupid onto the block and then cut out my card cupid and edged him with Barn Door Distress Ink (he’s my favourite of the stamps!). The Queen of Hearts was coloured with Postbox Red, Lemon Zest and Bubblegum Pink Dylusions Inks decanted into water brushes and edged with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink.

The 14 was coloured with Postbox Red Dylusions Ink as before. The heart was coloured with Bubblegum Pink Dylusions Ink in a water brush and then the word inked in with Postbox Red ink. I then clapped a little water over the top (as I did here) to blend the colours. When they were all dry I adhered them to the block with Glossy Accents.

The top is a Leaf Art Part, painted with PaperArtsy London Red paint and a little of the Snowflake paint on the edges. The heart is from Wendy Vecchi’s Blossom Bucket range. If you choose, you can then stand your chunky ATC on legs (like these!) or like I did, an old spool but you don’t have to stand it on something if you’d rather not!

I hope that you like my chunky ATC and find time to make one yourself!