Sunday, 31 January 2010

Book Study - Cosmos Paper

This is the third technique that Carol has introduced in our book study of Julia Andrus' book Paper Transformed.
Julia states that this technique is best done with areas smaller than 4"x4". She uses either illustration board or 3 - 5 layers of card stock glued together. You can colour the substrate with inks, markers, watercolours or coloured pencil. If you choose anything other than pigment ink, you need to apply Perfect Medium, VersaMark or clear embossing ink to the surface, then generally cover with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) over the surface and melt. 
I did the base of mine using various inks and 130LB cardstock cut to ATC size (3½” X 2½”); you can also use chipboard as your base.  
I used Versamark to add the UTEE on all but the one that were covered with pigment ink and heat embossed them, then repeated this same technique twice. 
When cool I tapped them with Perfect Medium and brushed Perfect Pearls over the surface, covered them with UTEE and heated them. In this step the UTEE likely won't stick to the surface because of adding the PP's (Perfect Pearls). so if you use a heat gun to emboss, start by heating it well away from the surface to prevent the embossing powder from flying away, then slowly move in to melt it completely. (Carol used an old frying pan to melt hers then applied the heat gun.)  On a couple of the pieces I got a bit too thick a coating of the Perfect Pearls, but this just gives it a different look.

These are the colours and inks I used on my pieces:
Top Row: 
(L)-Mint & Sky Blue Pigment Inks/Forever Blue & Forever Green PP's
Middle- Canary & Pink pigment ink/Lemon Sparkle PP and Carnation Pink Pearlex
(R)- Apricot & Peony pigment ink/Heirloom Gold & Raspberry Sparkle PP's 

Middle Row: 
(L)Rose Mauder & Vermillion Lacquer Nick Bantock dye inks/Heirloom Gold & Rust PP's 
(R) Green, Sky Blue and Spring Green Vivid Inks/Kiwi & Blue Smoke, heated cooled then added some Kiwi PP and UTEE and heated again.

Bottom Row: 
(L)-Tangerine Colorbox Fluid Chalks, smear of Mica Magic red; Green Patina, Forever Red PP's, heated cooled then added some Fuschia Pearlex and UTEE and heated again.
(R)Tsukineko Brilliance  Lavander and Purple overstamped with Brilliance gold/Forever Purple & Pewter PP's.
One tip I have when using cardstock is to apply double-sided foam tape such as Mactac carpet tape to the back before embossing with the UTEE as this prevents the cardstock from buckling. 

If you wish, you can also stamp into the piece by heating it again then stamping into it with a stamp covered with clear embossing, coloured craft or Brilliance inks. Be sure to let it cool before removing the stamp. 

Book Study - Faux Patent Leather

Continuing with the book study the next technique from Paper Transformed was Faux Patent Leather. This is a fairly simple technique using cardstock, glossy gel medium and embossing.

You take the cardstock and glaze it with glossy gel medium and allow it to dry. I chose three different scraps of cardstock that I had left from other projects, black, a shade of brown and a red one that had some stamped words on it.

Once the pieces dried I ran them through my Cuttlebug embossing folders, polka dots, divine swirls and tiny bubbles. I liked this technique, it was fast and would make great backgrounds for all kinds of projects. I noticed that the black one has a couple of portions that are a bit fuzzy and am not sure what happened, but gives it a look of a bit of worn leather.

See my previous book study post for a link to Carol's blog for step by step pictures of this Book Study project.

Book Study

On New Generation Stampers  we are doing a Book Study of Julia Andrus' Paper Transformed, led by Carol S .

The first challenge was Luminous Paste. In the book Julia uses Perfect Pearls and Glossy accents, but has stated that gel acrylic medium may be used instead.

I did the first piece with Glossy Accents and Lemon Sparkle Perfect Pearls. Julia suggested that you could add glitter, so I did.

The other two pieces were done with gel acrylic (I thought), however I think I grabbed the wrong jar and may have used molding paste by accident as there is not real "luminous" effect to it. I am thinking I might add some PP's over the top and see if it makes a difference. I also think I got a bit "heavy-handed" with the amount of  medium I applied.

Not sure that this is a technique I would use a lot except perhaps on a canvas or something similar where I wanted texture. To each his own-it would be a boring world if we all liked the same things.!!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

February Charm

The charm swap is continuing on CCSwaps and we are making another charm for February. I decided that I would use hearts for mine as of course Valentine's Day is during that month.

I took some beads and strung them together with various charms to match the beads. The left one is a heart from an old pair of earrings. The middle one is a charm to which I added the little gem. The right one is also a charm, but I coloured the middle heart and ribbon with Copic Markers. I hope my partners will not find these too simple, as I am still trying to learn about making charms.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Mini Memory for Jackie

Jackie is the February recipient for the Mini Memory swap in the DCI group and she chose vintage with earthy tones and gold as her theme.

I took a canvas and gessoed it then added scrunched up foil, cheesecloth and added some embossing paste with a stencil. I painted over the whole piece with various colours of acrylic paints to attain the vintage look.

I printed off  a vintage picture of a woman from and glued it to the canvas. In my stash I found an old picture frame, which I touched up with paint. I cut out a piece of acetate and covered the picture, then attached the frame.

Added some vintage buttons that my friend Annie sent me awhile ago, a piece of paper tape and some book corners to finish the piece off.

Black and White pattern

The latest swap I joined is to create something with a black and white pattern repeated. I have not done any canvases for a while so thought I would do one for this swap.

I painted the canvas with gesso then added dimension with an old plastic doily and molding paste. When it dried I painted over it with white acrylic paint.

I printed off an image from and cut it out. I then took a piece of black cardstock and another piece of white cardstock and put them through my Cuttlebug embossing folders. I put the black piece directly on top of the wet molding paste and it acted like a glue. I went over it and the picture with Judkins Microglaze to seal it. Added the white cardstock and the picture.

I stamped a hounds tooth stamp that I just bought at Michaels from the $1 bin, on white cardstock with Tsukineko Onyx Black Versafine ink. I cut three strips to go around the edge of the picture and attached them with double-sided foam tape. I punched out the flowers and added some centres to them.

I took some chipboard letters, painted them with gesso, then white paint and stamped them with the hounds tooth stamp.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Altered Container

I also joined up for an altered container swap. I chose to alter a little flip-flop box that I had in my stash.

I started by painting it with Gesso. On the top I used an old plastic doily and embossing paste to give it dimension, then painted it and added some gold acrylic paint on the highlights. Added a charm (that my friend Chrissy gave me in a 12 days of Christmas swap) which I coloured with alcohol inks, then glued some jewels to the top portion of the flip-flop band.

I painted the bottom a sunny yellow since I was thinking of warm weather, although it is not as cold here as it was in December and early January. I added some words to the bottom that I stamped on white tissue paper.

The inside is also painted and I added a piece of a page from an old book to the bottom.

Have a Heart

Another swap I am participating in is to use hearts on a project. I was trying to think of something a bit different and decided to make a mobile.

I used 3 different stamps and stamped them twice, the smallest one was done with Colorbox Fluid chalks, then I stamped it again and cut out the tiny heart and coloured it with Mica watercolours and attached it with double-sided tape to the heart.

The Middle one was stamped with Colorbox pigment ink and embossed with red embossing powder, and the small patterned pieces cut out.

The third one I stamped with dye inks using Cathie Allan's Stamp Smoosh technique. I stamped a quote on each side using a different stamp relating to friends.  I added heart sticker, then embossed both pieces with glitter embossing powder.

I strung all the pieces together using nylon thread (the kind that looks invisible) and added beads to give it a little more dimension. The thread was a great idea until I accidently cut it and then tried to tie another piece to the end..... Believe me it really is Invisible!!! I used a dental floss threader to put the beads on the thread, which is a great and cheap tool. There are 25 in a package for about $4 it makes it so much easier than struggling with the beads (see picture below).  The picture of the mobile is not the greatest, as I hung it in my craft room and put a piece of craft paper behind it but if you click on the picture you will get a better view.

Blog giveaway

Erika  is giving away a fantastic prize on her blog to celebrate her "blogoversary". Go take a look at all her beautiful creations at and check out her giveaway.

Thursday, 21 January 2010


I am participating in a monthly charm swap on CCSwaps. I of course jumped in with both feet again, having no idea what to make.

I have never made jewelry nor have I done any amount of beading, so it was a challenge to come up with an idea. I scrounged through my stash and decided to use a Clearsnap style stone as the base. I covered the stone in alcohol ink,  applied an image from then covered it with varnish. I then cut out a small butterfly image and attached a piece of wire with seed beads to simulate the antenna. I attached this to the bottom of the style stone, then covered it with Rangers glossy accents to make it more dimensional.

I then added a bead which is from a bunch that I bought in Scotland several years ago, and have found it hard to part with it because they are quite unique. But why save them???

Unfortunately the image is a bit blurry, as I used my Mac to upload it and am not as familiar with the program as I am with the one on my Hubby's PC.

ATC booklet

I belong to a group which is strictly for ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) and each month all the cards uploaded are entered for a prize draw with all the members voting. The list owner then sends out a small prize to the winner.

Since it was the Christmas season and there was a close second, I volunteered to send something to the second place winner. Since the group is all about ATC's I decided to make a booklet to hold them.

I started by taking a piece of my handmade backgrounds and cut it to size for the back and front covers. I added some embossed flourishes, then I attached some patterned papers to the inside of the covers. I then took a little vellum envelope and attached it to the front inside cover and put a few small images inside for the recipient to use on her ATC's or other projects.

The front cover was completed by adding an image from, a quote from and some "jewels"using colours which coordinated with the image.

For the ATC holders I used heavy weight badge holders, then bound the whole piece together with my Zutter Bind-it-All.

Use it or Lose it

A current swap that I am participating in on CCSwaps is to use items that we received for Christmas to make an item for our partner.

Some of the craft items I received were a small paper cutter, some beautiful Fibermark paper (, new stamps and alcohol inks so I used these for my swap item.

I cut some 130lb cardstock into 6" X 6" pieces, and decorated several of them using various background techniques. I left the inside pages blank so my partner can use the book in whatever manner she pleases. I covered the back page with some scrapbook paper to coordinate with the front which is covered with faux leather Fibermark.

For the front, I took a piece of acrylic and coloured it with some new alcohol inks that coordinated with the colour of the image I chose, then edged it with a silver Krylon pen. I attached a piece of white cardstock with vellum tape, to have the colours show through. I then layered a different piece of faux leather on top then a piece of some homemade background paper edged with a Tombow marker.

I took an image from Moonlight and attached it to a piece of cardstock to make it sturdier, cut it out; applied some Microglaze to waterproof and protect it. This was attached to the panels with double-sided foam tape. I added a little quote tile and some corner pieces.