One Dragon, 3 ways

I am pleased to say that I’m now part of the Get Creative Challenges Blog Design Team. It is an interesting blog, all about promoting the use of digital stamps. There is even a monthly challenge that anybody can join in, no matter what their skill level is.

My first digital stamp to play with was the Winter Frost Dragon by Colour of Love. I was so happy to get this design, as I love fantasy and am quite fond of dragons. The first thing I did was print off the dragon in different sizes to inspire me.

I had recently bought a Mica Magic set, after watching a demonstration by John Lockwood at Inspirations. I thought that the shimmer of the mica would look magical with the dragon.

I then decided to experiment with my Chameleon Fine Liner pens to colour in a smaller dragon. I used lines to colour it in, that gives it a slightly modern look.

Finally, I wanted to make the image look like it had come from an ancient book. So I carefully tore around the image and ink blended over it with some Distress inks. I then sprayed it with water to give a more aged look.

I decided to create cards with all 3 images, as they all had a distinct look. First off, the large dragon. I die cut a square and added a layer using Hunkdory Moonstone dies. I thought the background needed a bit of texture, so I used a Do Crafts embossing folder. I then used a combination of Mica Magic and ink blending to make the embossed design stand out.

The next card was using the Chameleon Fine Liner coloured image. This had a more Christmassy feel, so I decided to turn it into a Christmas card. I first die cut the image and a dark blue layer using Arch Sizzix dies.

I chose 2 different shades of blue card and embossed them with a Do Crafts embossing folder. Due to the folder only being a small one I had to repeat emboss with it to create the background. I then ink blended over it to give a touch of green. Finally, I stamped a sentiment and layered it with the lighter colour of the embossed card.

The next card I really wanted to achieve a certain look with strong colours that had a medieval/fantasy feel. I found some leather effect card in my stash that I ink blended with some Distress Inks to highlight the leather effect. I embossed some grey card with a Do Crafts embossing folder. I then used the same inks to ink blend the pattern. Finally, I sprayed it with Altenew Antique Silver ink spray.

Next was the sentiment, I wanted to create it the same way as the main dragon image. After one failure where I stamped before ink blending with Distress Inks. (The sentiment ink ran really badly.) I ink blended and sprayed water before stamping the sentiment. The sentiment was from Rare Earth and I thought it went really well with the fantasy image.

It just goes to show that digital stamps can be very versatile and that you can get completely different looks from the same image. It does help when the image is as beautiful as the ‘Winter Frost Dragon’.

Seasonal Scene Building

‘Seasonal Scene Building’ is an interesting mix of a class from Altenew. The tutor Nichol Magourik, brings a different way to use techniques that you may already be familiar with. I found myself thinking a lot during the class, that I had never thought of doing that before.

This class was all about building a scene within your cards. The best card I created was a flower themed ‘Live in the moment’ one. To begin with, I stamped out the flower from Altenew’s ‘Sewn with Love’ stamp set. An interesting stamp, that is not as tricky to use as you would think.

I decided that it needed a frame, so I die cut one out. It was white card and ink blended with Altenew Paper Bag ink to get the right colour.

For the background, I first ink blended Turquoise and Teal Cave ink pads. This gave a nice blue colour with some variations in tones. I did not ink blend all the background as I knew I would just end up covering it up. I then used Versamark with the Altenew ‘Pattern Power’ stamp set. Heat embossing this with a clear embossing powder gives a very nice effect.

Finally, I used a sentiment from Altenew ‘Simple Flowers’ stamp set with Versamark ink on vellum. Adding the silver embossing powder to the vellum made the sentiment stand out.

I really like how the finished product looks like it is an embroidered picture hanging on the wall.

Supplies:

  • Altenew Sewn with Love Stamp Set
  • Altenew Pattern Power Stamp Set
  • Altenew Simple Flowers Stamp Set
  • Altenew Turquoise ink pad
  • Altenew Teal Cave ink pad
  • Altenew Dew Drop ink pad
  • Altenew Rose Quartz ink pad
  • Altenew Coral Berry ink pad
  • Altenew Ruby Red ink pad
  • Altenew Mountain Mist ink pad
  • Altenew Frayed Leaf ink pad
  • Altenew Volcano Lake ink pad
  • Altenew Paper Bag ink pad
  • Versamark ink pad
  • Card
  • Vellum
  • Wow clear embossing powder
  • Stampendous embossing powder: detail silver opaque
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Glue dots
  • Heat Gun
  • Stamping platform

Things I learnt from this class:

  • The snapshot idea of having your card look like a close-up shot of something.
  • Frames are a really good idea to bring attention to the focal design.
  • Not to be afraid to layer stamped images.
  • Used Promarkers for the first time for colouring in the stamped images.
  • How to die cut an aperture in a card.
  • Some interesting new layouts.

Some of my favourite pieces from this class.

Netting and Peyote Stitch

My books finally arrived so that I could start learning seed beading properly. I am very much a book learner, with videos coming a close second.

The first book that arrived was ‘Getting started with Seed Beads’ by Dustin Wedekind. I chose it because of the title. The early projects in the book involved sewing and gluing, things that I wasn’t interested in learning. Then there was a section on netting. Netting as a technique is quite straight forward once you get your head around it. The best thing about netting is that the seed beads you use do not have to be the regular size ones, so this technique is a cheap first step to build confidence.

I created a variation of the ‘Curved Chevron Choker’, using the beads that I had. I am quite pleased with the necklace and wear it a lot. I tried a few more netting projects, and I have become confident that I can tackle more involved netting projects in the future.

The next technique to learn was ‘peyote stitch’. The thing with peyote stitch is that all the beads have to be exactly the same size, unlike netting. Oh, did I have trouble at first with this one! Starting off Peyote stitch is really tricky, getting the beads to sit on top of each takes a lot of patience. They just do not like doing it and seem to jump out of place. I even had to watch a video on it, though that took a long time to find one that showed exactly how to start ‘flat peyote’.

I used a project from another book ‘Beginners Guide to Beadwork’ by Madeleine Rollason. This book has photographs rather than charts to explain what you do. I used size 15 seed beads to create this ring.

I also learned how to add threads and secure threads in this project. Interestingly, when I did this I made the ring wavy. I suspect that this has something to do with the tension of the original weave. I do like the look it gave this ring though, like a herringbone shape.

I was so confident that I decided to have another go at flat peyote. This time a bracelet project called ‘Snappy Bands’ from the Dustin Wedekind book. It was still a pain to start off the peyote, I hope it will become easier with practice. The thing with flat peyote stitch is that once it is started it is very straight forward.

I hadn’t realised how big a project I was giving myself. The bracelet in total took 9 hours to create. I still have the problem of making the bracelet slightly wavy when finishing it but I tell myself that it is a design choice.

The one plus I did learn during this project was how to thread my needle easier, though I suspect that has just been practice. I still need to find an easier way to undo the knots and tangles though. I think next I will learn about the different types of peyote stitch. Who knows maybe I will get the hang of starting off Peyote stitch?